Friday, 30 November 2012

Mahina - new fragrance from Molton Brown

We were lucky enough to be hosted (along with fellow Handpicked Media bloggers) to an evening with Molton Brown at Vanilla, London. It's the perfect venue as it's central and a blank canvas for showcasing beauty products so this certainly wasn't our first event there but I must admit the gorgeous colours of the Molton Brown bottles looked perfect in this setting.

Molton Brown is a brand we should be really proud of. English through and through you'll never find them adding anything tested on animals, they only use precious and potent ingredients and they are truly inspired by the world and all it's glories. And as someone commented on my instagram at the event - they have many imitators but no-one does it quite as well as they do...

I am now sitting here typing this and smelling the most heavenly fragrance, Mahina, which becomes a new member of the Molton Brown range of fine fragrances in January 2013. I was lucky enough to be given a sample in the goody bag and I am hooked!

This addition to the fine fragrance collection, Navigations Through Scent is named after a region of the laid back, sun-drenched island of Tahiti  - and through this scent I am almost there. The top notes are ylang-ylang and fresh orange blossom and it also fuses tiare flower, grown in abundance in Tahiti, with base notes of vanilla and cedarwood. The overall floral scent is citrussy and not sweet and as the Principal Perfumer for Molton Brown, Jennifer Jambon, explains 'Mahina is a bright, happy fragrance inspired by the idyllic white beaches of Tahiti. The blend of fresh citrus orange flower and ylang-ylang combined with the white floral heart of the tiare flower creates a beautifully balanced floral fragrance for both men and women.'

I will be investing in more because my sample will be finished by January at this rate!

Mahina is unisex and available from January for £60 (50ml)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

New Look Spring/Summer 2013 preview

Oh it's so pretty and we can't really wait for Spring to be here. I know we haven't had Christmas yet but walking in to the New Look Spring/Summer 2013 press preview yesterday made me hanker after warmer days and more daylight. So here it is - great prints, lovely use of lace, lots of beading, an altogether uplifting collection from the kings of the high-street.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Death at the Wellcome Collection

Tete de Morte Postcard 1910 - Richard Harris collection

All the years I've lived in London and I've never been to the Wellcome Trust which is just opposite Kings Cross Station! Flicking through a magazine an advert for an exhibition on Death caught my eye and as husband had been nagging for ages to take me to the Wellcome Collection, we decided that this was the perfect place to be on a disgustingly grey afternoon in November.

Death in  all its guises - from our portrayal of death to our markers for the deceased is all found in this small but beautifully put together (and free) exhibition.

Skeleton Puppet - Richard Harris collection 

Collected over the years by Richard Harris, a former antique print dealer in Chicago, the exhibition includes illustrations, aretfacts, rare prints by the likes of Durer, Goya and Rembrant along with war art and antique metamorphic postcards. There are 5 themed rooms, Contemplating Death, The Dance of Death, Violent Death, Eros and Thanatos and Commemoration. 

Richard Harris says 'The collection was from the beginning meant to be shown as an exhibition to the public, never as a private, personal statement for my eyes only. I hoped to create a body of work that would chronologically and culturally capture the essence of Death through its iconography, from masterpieces of fine art to the incidental'.

You are also free to wander the galleries of the Wellcome Trust collection which has even more amazingly weird and wonderful pieces like a lock of George III hair and a Chinese torture chair. There is a great bookshop and lovely cafe with freshly made cakes - well worth a wander on a Sunday afternoon.

'Death: A self-portrait, the Richard Harris Collection' runs from 15 November 2012 to 24 February 2013 at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1 2BE.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Christmas at the Sunshine Garden Centre

Okay I know this is going to make me sound WAY too middle-aged but part of the prep for Christmas (which seems to have started even earlier this year) is a visit to the Sunshine Garden Centre in North London. As the girls are both away and were both back last weekend we popped along to get into the Christmassy spirit - and I went back today to pick up a few things as a surprise.

This garden centre in Bounds Green/Muswell Hill North London, wins awards for their Christmas displays - so we're not that sad really. I have expounded about why I don't like themed Christmases before, but when it comes to in-store displays I am more than happy to make allowances.

So here you go - a chance to share some of the Christmas love at the Sunshine Garden Centre that has already arrived here in North London.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Theory collaboration with Uniqlo

WOMEN Theory Down Jacket
Puffa jacket, designed by Theory, made by Uniqlo

Most of the high street has designer collaborations these days, and most you can leave. So often the designs are just poor versions of the catwalk - although I do like the way in which Debenhams collaborates with their Designers at Debenhams - there seems to be a bit more subtstance. But you won't see me queuing outside H&M anytime soon...

However I do like this Theory collaboration with Uniqlo - one of my high street staple favourites I must admit. I am sitting and typing this in Uniqlo jeans and t-shirt so I'm not lying.

Uniqlo are becoming famous for their real down puffa jackets and this women's Theory down jacket is just a little bit special with the zip up inner collar and black and white colourway. And at £89.90 for real and designer down it's not a bad price.

And if you like things a bit more colourful and for the tube rather than the piste, here is another Uniqlo down jacket for exactly the same price.

Uniqlo Down Jacket

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

These boots were made for walking

Did anyone see the fantastic Last Tango in Halifax last night? Full to the brim with stars, and a long-awaited return to the small screen by Derek Jacobi, this story of old-age love is definitely one not to miss.... But do you know who the real star of the show is for me? The wonderful countryside of West Yorkshire.

Now I know it's not the Yorkshire Dales, or the North York Moors, but there is something very special about the small villages and rolling hills of West Yorkshire.

Which turns my mind to walking and getting out in the fresh air before Winter really does bite hard. I am not a hardy walker but really prefer a gentle stroll but I am sure this is down to the fact that I don't really have the proper footwear. FitFlop boots are what I usually wear but really to stride out for a day's walking in the British countryside you need something much sturdier. So this year I am going to invest in some walking boots at Blacks. And while I'm at it I will be getting a pair for my husband too so we can walk together....
I really like this colourway by Berghaus for women at £110

Berghaus Men's Explorer Light Gore-Tex Boots, £110 Blacks

This is a sponsored post.

Friday, 16 November 2012


Today the last shoe from a  limited collection of FitFlops designed especially to celebrate the fifth anniversary but more importantly to raise cash for Care International to help stamp out poverty goes live on e-bay!

You can make a real difference by bidding on e-bay for these amazing shoes - ALL the proceeds will go to Care International - so hurry don't be late as they stared going live this week and each one will only be live for 10 days!

All five shoes are featured here and you can find them at or find out more on Twitter #carefitflop. Whoever wins will have a custom-made pair to get the exact size...

Care International works tirelessly to help people across the globe out of extreme poverty so it's a wonderful way of FitFlop to mark their birthday. Which pair will you choose? I love the first pair...

Jaeger Spring/Summer 2013 sneak preview

Another day, another press preview and this time it's Jaeger. I love a bit of Jaeger and have quite a collection of their signature pieces of jewellery. Highlights for me for the Spring/Summer season were the printed fabrics and the colour palette with lots of black, white, mustard and brights to jazz it all up a bit.

Here are some of my favourite pieces.

Jaeger scarves and shoes

Jaeger Spring/Summer 2013

Gorgeous Jaeger necklace

Jaeger dresses and separates
Jaeger grecian inspired print

Jaeger black and white stripes

Jaeger signature handbags

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Eco-friendly Christmas Crackers

There's so much waste at Christmas isn't there? I'm not just talking food either, but the mountains of cardboard and gift-wrap which has recycling bins overflowing. Apart from never sending another Christmas card or wrapping another present there isn't much we can do.

So I was happy when I came across these fab recycled Christmas crackers at They are £15 a box and the site is worth checking out too for their recycled gift-wrap and selection of gift ideas...

Saturday, 10 November 2012

STOP PRESS Kids Company team up for Global Kids Fashion Week

Camilla Batmanghelidjh is someone who's often on TV talking about child poverty and the action needed to combat it here in the UK so I was excited to read of this new initiative to raise funds for her charity Kids Company.
Camilla Batmanghelidjh, and Alex Theophanous, founder of global style destination for kids,, announced the first ever Global Kids’ Fashion Week this week that will take place in March 2013.
As a finale to the fashion week season, Global Kids Fashion Week (GKFW) will cast a spotlight on premium kids’ fashion, from both established designers as well as emerging names. Runway shows and performances, informative exhibitions, industry talks, and playful activities will all occur over the three-day schedule. All ticket sales proceeds to the public show will be donated to the Kids Company Charity.
The schedule features two main shows – an exclusive media event showcasing the latest AW13 trends from the world’s leading labels and a second ticketed event in aid of Kids Company. The second show is open to the public and will showcase current season (SS13) looks from AlexandAlexa’s brand portfolio.
The event will also include a mix of fun activities for children and parents, with workshops from the V&A Museum of Childhood, a performance from the London Children’s Ballet and an interactive bloggers lounge.
GKFW aims to educate and inspire people about Kids’ fashion – celebrating how this specialist category has thrived and evolved over the past five years.

Who are
AlexandAlexa is the global style destination for kids, offering over 200 premium brands spanning fashion, toys, sports and lifestyle.

The site launched in October 2007 by husband and wife duo Alex Theophanous and Alexa Till. With two children under the age of five, the pair loathed the stress of family shopping trips. To access the world’s best kids collections without having to hit a high street, they created an online shopping destination for parents. 
Here are a couple of my favourite pieces from their current site...
Torres Satin dress with velour stripes
Torres Satin Dress with velour trim, £89
Most Wanted Diamante Skull Black Tee
Most Wanted Diamonte boys t-shirt, £46
Oh I wish my kids were young again!

Global Kids’ Fashion Week
What will happen at the event?
·         Show 1: An exclusive runway show for press, industry figures and VIP clients/celebrities, children will model the latest designer looks from the Autumn/Winter ‘13 collections. 
·         Show 2: A private runway show for media and industry figures featuring emerging and new talent in children’s fashion design.

·         Show 3:  public runway show and performance showcasing current Spring/Summer ’13 trends. A ticketed event with all proceeds from tickets sales donated to Kids Company.

·         There will also be installations and workshops by the V&A Museum of Childhood in the ante-room throughout the duration of the event.

·         Full schedule to be released closer to the time.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Clarks shoes - nostalgia for Spring/Summer 2013

I am a fan of Clarks. My winter short ankle boots with just the right size of heel have hardly been off my feet since I got them as they are comfortable and look good too. Glad to have been asked to the Spring/Summer preview of the new collection again I have found plenty to tempt me and hope you will too! I love a Liberty print though don't think I'll be wearing them but can see a whole new generation doing so...

Here are a few of my snaps....

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Laura Ashley - Spring/Summer 2013 preview

Yesterday lunchtime I flew out for half an hour to visit the press event for Laura Ashley 2013. This iconic British brand is an amazing 60 years old and they had amassed some suitable memorabilia alongside the collection for home and fashion for Spring/Summer 2012. I can't say that Laura Ashley has ever really been my thing but you've got to admire their longevity and the fact that they do stick to their brand ethos.

Colours in fashion are bright - almost acid, and filter through to cute childrenswear, whereas interiors collections were more pastel and paid more than a passing nod to the popularity of Downton Abbey. I think the world's love affair with Laura Ashley looks secure for the foreseeable future!

Celebrating 60 years of Laura Ashley

Photo by debbiedjor
Laura Ashley - the style that started it all

Laura ashley s/s 2013
Stylish accessories for Spring/Summer 2013 - with a touch of 1930's glamour

Laura rashly s/s 13
I'm loving this tote from the Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Laura Ashley
Laura ashley kidswear
Bright and colourful kidswear for Spring/Summer 2013

Laura ashley s/s 2013
1980's patchwork cushions got an airing from the Laura Ashley archives

Laura ashley home
Homeware was pretty and pastel for Spring/Summer 2013 Laura Ashley
Laura ashley s/s 2013
An amazing 1930's style glass light
Just a few shades of Downton Abbey came to Laura Ashley this Spring/Summer 2013

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