About Me

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hi, I am a 41 year old who loves jewellery and all things sparkly.My Instagram account is @sparkling_magpie

Sunday, 17 September 2017

#Win #HarryPotter #Primark #jewellery


These Harry Potter jewellery items were sold recently  in Primark, you can still find them on Ebay.  They are gold toned and nicely made. They don't look cheap and they are very detailed.  If you want to enter my rafflecopter competition to win them just enter by filling in; completing as any options ar you want. This competition is open internationally. It opens on 20 September 2017 and closes 4 October 2017.  Good Luck!!!!! 

follow the link >>>>> 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Off The Eaten Path, Crunchy Pea & Pinto Bean Sticks

I found Off The Eaten Path snacks in Sainsburys.  The crunchy pea and pinto bean sticks cost £1 for 23g, and each bag contains 104 KCAL, 4.1g of fat, 0.5g sugar and 0.46g salt.  The sticks are made from pinto, green and white beans  with sea salt.  They provide a source of fibre and they are free from preservatives, do not contain artificial colours and are suitable foe vegetarians.  Nutritional information can be found here.  I think these are tastier and crunchier than your average crisp!  A grown up crunchy snack that isn't overly greasy and artificial in flavour. I enjoy trying snacky food which is easy to eat as sometimes I feel to ill to be bothered making a "proper" meal so instead I will have a packet of these, some cheese and some fruit.

I purchased mine from my Sainsbury Local and they are also available online. A 100g bag is £2.25.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

AmazonBasics Stylus for Touchscreen Devices

The AmazonBasics stylus for touchscreen devices is £9.99 with no p&p for those with Prime membership.  I have problems with spatial awareness and pain in my fingers whilst my mum has arthritis in her hands and fingers and, like me, finds it difficult to get the touchscreen to respond correctly when she touches (and misses) the icon/ letter that she wants.  This stylus is great, it has a rubber tip so the touch screen doesn't get damaged. It is quite chunky compared to some other styluses (the width of a chunky pen) so is easier to grip and can be used on all devices with capacitive touchscreens. Even if you do not have problems with your hands, this stylus would be great if you  have  long, freshly manicured nails or if you are wearing gloves on a cold day (saves taking them off). I keep mine in the box it came in so it doesn't get damaged or wacked under the settee by my cat.

I purchased this item myself.

Available from: Amazon UK

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Book Review: Orphan Sisters by Lola Jaye

Orphan Sisters by Lola Jaye is published by Ebury Press and Penguin Random House on 21st September 2017.  Orphan Sisters follows Lanre and Mayowa Cole entering 1950s Britain with their mother (Adanya) from Nigeria, to be with their father (Tayo) who had already travelled ahead to secure work and go to college.  Although initially moving to Britain is seen as a great adventure, "in England there was no conflict and no hardship" and they would "have a good and happy life" there, the girls soon see the harsh reality of  a racist 1950s London first hand. Only Auntie  Ginny, the next door neighbour, greets them with open arms.  They are faced  with signs in lodging houses that state "no blacks, no dogs, no Irish".  The headmaster at their new school insists that they are given English names that are easy to pronounce, so they become Lana and Maya.  Sadly their father dies unexpectedly and their mother has a third little girl - Tina.  With their mother unable to cope, the three little girls are put in to a care in Sir John Adams Children's home.   Lana tries desperately to keep her family together but Tina is adopted and Maya bcomes increasinly lost in her books with no friends and has to deal with Stan's harassment.

 The story follows their lives up to the 1980s.  Lana, with her childhood friend Clifton puts her energies into putting the jigsaw that is their lives back together and tracing her two sisters, Ginny and discovering what really happened to her mother.  Maya drags herself up from the underbelly, seedier side of London to become a financially successful business woman whilst Tina remains unaware that she is adopted and has two Nigerian half sisters.  Lana puts her little family back together and fits the jigsaw that is their life back together.

Beautifully written, the story is empathetic and caring to the plight of  the Cole  family.   Drawing upon black political and social history in 1950s England, Jaye tackles issues such as systemic racism and failures within social services head on, whilst also creating a story about a family that brings a tear to the reader's eye that three little girls should suffer so much sadness and loss but still be determined to carry on.

I received my copy from NetGalley, Ebury Press and Penguin Random House UK in exchange for an honest review but this does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.

Available here:
Amazon UK

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Beak Knows. Fragrance Review: Girl of Know by Ellie Saab


I often apply for Sopost samples, you generally have to click a link on either Twitter or Facebook, refer a friend, or in some cases just input your own details, and then within a few days you get sent that sample, and recently received a 1 ml sample Girl of Now by Ellie Saab eau de parfum which is a great size for travel or just to pop in your handbag. The fragrance's top notes of mandarin orange, pear and pistachio. Middle notes orange blossom, magnolia and almond.  Base notes are patchouli, cashmeran. tonka bean and almond milk.  A gourmand but not too sweet fragrance,  it has a strong almond, almost marzipan aroma when first sprayed.  This does die down to a combination of a fruity/floral fragrance that lasts for ages.  30 ml is £38.

Available here: Boots.com

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Sass & Belle Dove Photo Frame into DIY Mirror

I am currently updating and trying to improve my dressing table, blog and instagram photos. I have looked at several other blogs and copper/ rose gold is definitely a trend, but I wanted an Art Deco type mirror to reflect the back of my jewellery photos.  All the ones I could find were way to big or doll house size. I saw this photo frame by Sass & Belle on Amazon and thought how cute it was- but I don't do photos! I wondered if it was possible to convert the frame into a mirror, so to try it out, bought some A6 mirror cards which are luckily the right size, took the piece of paper out of the frame and replaced it with the card. I think the look is effective. If I were to try this again in order to get a better mirror reflection,  I would buy an actual mirror and gorilla glue it on to the top of the glass part of the frame rather than fit it underneath.

Available from:
Sass & Belle Cream Robin Photo Frame  £10.25
School Mirrors A6 x 10  £9.99

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Book Review: The Break by Marian Keyes

The Break, by Marian Keyes, published on 7th September 2017, is not about falling but staying love.  Amy is devastated when her husband, Hugh, declares that he wants a 6 month break in order to find himself.  His plan is to spend 6 months travelling around south East \Asia.  As he trundles off with only a back pack, Amy is left essentially a single mother, with a full time job, 3 daughters, Neeve the vlogger, Sofie her niece and Kiara and an online shopping habit.  The break focuses on Amy coping with a variety of problems thrown at her by clients, her family and workmates.  She has to solve these issues whilst watching  Hugh (through social media) backpack in S-E Asia without a care in the world!  He arrives home early and the sparks fly!

I liked this book but I did not love it.  It is very cluttered.  There are too many story lines which are: interesting; sad (Pop having Alzheimer disease and how his wife and family deal and don't deal with it) full of black humour, humour (Marc Jacobs primer and the trials of online shopping) and political (abortion in Ireland) issue,   Some of these lines intersect but some would have made a great stand-a-lone story.  The book also jumps back and forth to flashbacks to 2  years ago when Amy first met Josh Rowan which can be confusing. There are several peripheral characters - Domenik, pop's carer, Maura, Amy's eldest sister and her husband, TPB and Derry, forever unlucky in love, who all seem wasted.   From the glimpses we are given they all seem to have interesting stories to tell.  I also wonder how this book will last.  The break is very contemporary: youtubers being the  new celebrity, blagging expensive items for free; stalking and ghosting on facebook, instagram, twitter etc; Terry Wogan dying and Marc Jacob's new primer (its not that good by the way), is the best/ well known primer,  but how will it be received by future readers when social media has moved on to new apps Terry Wogan has been forgotten about and a new primer is the must have.  There are issues that will not become dated.  The stresses and strains of looking after those with dementia and the  need to repeal Amendment 8 so women do not need to travel abroad to have an abortion will remain relevant issues in the future. I do not think the break  is a book I will pick up and read again and again as I have done with some of her earlier books but I did like it.    

I received my copy from NetGalley, Penguin UK and Michael Joseph  but this does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.