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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, 22 October 2017

Tommy Hilfinger Launches Adaptive Clothing Range

Tommy Hilfinger have launched an inclusive clothing range for people with disabilities.  1 in 5 people in the US and UK have some form of life limiting disability yet they largely neglected by the fashion industry.  TH has already launched 2 collections for children with disabilities in partnership with Runway of Dream, a foundation which aims to promote inclusivity within the fashion industry.  

This range of adaptive clothing is designed to make it easier for wearers or their carers to easily get dressed  and for the clothing to fit around orthotics etc.   The range consists of 34 women's and 37 men's pieces.  They feature wrist loops, velcro closures, magnetic flies  which can be fastened with one hand and magnetic zippers on top of specialised leg hems to take into account leg braces and orthotics.  The jacket, pictured above, for example, fastens with velcro. The range is designed to be wearable and fashionable for wheelchair users, people with prosthetics, limitations or restrictions in movement etc.  I find getting dressed to be exhausting and have trawled online shops for clothing that looks fashionable but is easy to get on and actually fits comfortably over my shoulder and neck braces whilst not getting tangled up in my walking stick! I only hope that other fashion retailers follow TH lead.

The range is already available in the US and Hilfiger hopes to eventually launch the range worldwide.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Chamilia x Disney

Chamilia have a new Mickey and Minnie Disney collection out now.   The black and red accent enamel  beads are £55, the little figures are sterling silver with enamel detailing are £45 and the sparkly Swarovski crystal Mickey charm is £45.

Available here and all authorised Chamilia retailers. 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Book Review:: Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

Connie Glynn the YouTuber, noodlerella, has branched out and signed a three book book deal with Penguin Books. The series is called the Rosewood Chronicles and  is about parties, politics and princesses and documents the life of 14 year old Lottie  as she starts at boarding school - Rosewood Hall.  

In the first of the series, Undercover Princess, Lottie finds herself sharing a room with a Maradovian Princess,  Ellie Wolf.  Lottie finds herself playing "Princess" so that Ellie can experience real life as a normal teenager.  Drawn into the world of royalty, Lottie faces a world full of intrigue, secrets and betrayal.  The forthcoming school ball and the mysterious new boy called Jamie show the reader that the happy ending is not always the one you anticipate or expect.

This is a Young Adult book that treads a fine line between the  classic fairy tale princess storylinr and badass 21 Century princess scenario.  As the story progresses, it is clear that the authors has managed to combine the two, making a great read, updating the traditional princess story line for the 21 Century. 

ARC provided by NetGalley and Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

Pandora Disney Collection

 The Disney Pandora Collection has made it to the UK!!  Made from sterling silver, enamel and sparkling crystals, the collection comprises of the traditional Pandora bracelet and beads, locket and charms.  The prices are listed n the above photo and seem quite reasonable considering the amount of detail that has gone in to each piece.  Pandora have a special intoductory offer on at the moment - if you spend £99 on this collection you get a free gold disney clutch bag. 

Available here and all Pandora stockists.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Wet Brush Wet Detangling Comb

The Wet BrushPro Wet Detangling Comb is £5.99 from Amazon UK using Prime.  Great for detangling both wet and dry hair, it doesn't snag or pull as the Wave Tooth ensures the comb goes through hair evenly which prevents clumping, snagging or breakage.  The handle is ergonomic and comfortable to hold.  It is great for detangling big knots after swimming etc or for use brushing air masques or conditioner through hair.  The wavy shape of the teeth allows th masque/conditioner to get to the scalp and the teeth also give the scalp a really good massage.   It is a nice sized comb, not to heavy or light It is sturdy and does not bend or give (up) but glides through my hair. 

I purchased this item myself.
Available from:
Amazon UK and Wet Brush stockists.  

Friday, 13 October 2017

Book Review: Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Available  in the UK from the 1st November and in paperback form in the US from October 24 2017, Christmastime Cowboy is part of the Copper Ridge series (book 10) and is published by Harlequin.  Thirteen years ago Liam Donnelley had been bribed to stay away from Sabrina Leighton, the boss's daughter. Liam has now returned to Copper Ridge, very rich, The pair have to work together to set up her family's winery new tasting by Christmas (naturally) so what could go wrong?  

Christmastime Cowboy is full of characters that need fixing. What better than time than Christmas for this to happen.

ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Chamilia Halloween Charms - spookily cute!!

As it is October and the shops are full of Halloween merchandise, I thought I would have a look for some wearable, spooky but not frightening jewellery!  Chamilia have brought out some Halloween charms.  They are spookily cute but not full on frightening and definitely wearable all the year round, not just on Halloween.  Made from sterling silver, there are, for example,  moss green Swaovski crystal embellishment for eyes, orange enamel for the pumpkin charm and the cat's hat.

Prices range from £25-70 per charm.  The 3 charm gift set in the witch hat box is £79 which is great value and would make a great gift (for me!).

Available here: Chamilia and all Chamilia authorised Stockists.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Review: Mills & Boon Subscription Book Club

As I am a #millsandbooninsider I was offered a 3 month free trial of Mills and Boon subscription book club service. The book club allows you to with subscribe to either a paperback or book subscription, where you are sent either paperback or ebook releases every month before they are released on Amazon, Kobo etc. I chose the Modern series, so I got 4 books per month. They came in a cardboard envelope and fitted through my letter box. The other books are Cherish, Historical, Medical, Nocturne, Desire and Intrigue. They vary in the amount of books you receive, but it starts at £3.99 for one book. There is no p&p if you choose the paperback option.

The book club offers convenience and rewards. As a suscriber you can earn Bonus Points that can be echachsnged for free books or gifts. There are also exclusive subscriber offers, subscriber competitions and latest news information in the Mills and Boon Romance magazine which comes with your books.

I enjoyed receiving my book package every month. It also contained a little newsletter and fliers advertising up and comming collections and offers.  If I were to use this service in the future, however, I would use the ebook version as I prefer the ease of kindle - being able to access all my books on one device and I like the instantaneity of hitting download and the book being there to read on my kindle whenever I want rather than having to carry books around with me.

I received this service free of charge but this did not affect my opinion or review.
All the information relation to the Mills &a Boon subscription service can be found here

Monday, 9 October 2017

Book Review: Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben was published Random House on 26 September 2017.  Two murders which took place 15 years ago are brought back into the spot light thanks to a drive by shooting.  15 years ago Leo Dumas and Diana Styles were found dead on train tracks (no one could explain why they were there) and Maura Wells, Napoleon Dumas' (Leo's twin) girlfriend disappeared. 

Fast forward a decade and a half, Nap is now a cop, a detective,  investigating the drive by shooting of Sgt Rex  Canton, an off duty Pennsylvanian cop and Nap's high school classmate,  who was specifically targeting the guy who shot him. Maura's finger prints are found in the car driven by Rex. Nap has never forgotten about his twin and regularly talks about him.  He is also aware that he cannot investigate a crime that happened outside his jurisdiction. 

Leo, Diana, Maura and Rex were/are all linked through the Westbrook High's Conspiracy Club, a traditional teen anti-establishment group.  When Hank Stroud, one of the last 2 living members is found dead, murdered on a street corner, Nap decides to question Beth Lashley, the only surviving member of the club.   He discovers that she too has disappeared. Nap investigates and tries to discover what secrets the club had uncovered which would result in their deaths.

This s where the book fell down for me. The reasons are mundane, not that mind bloing or intersting.  The book is beautifully planned out and well written, just like all his novels, but the climax, in my view, is anti-climatic.

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

Friday, 6 October 2017

Review & #Win: Xtava Twist Curling Wand

The Xtava Twist Curling Wand costs £20 from Amazon UK with Prime.  It comes with a storage pouch and glove.  It has a LCD display, cool tip, double voltage and auto shut off.  There are three different wands available, each costing £20.  I got the largest which is 1.1.5".  The others are 0.5-1" and 0.75-1.25".  It has 22 different heat settings ranging from 90-220C.  It uses ionic technology to  prevent the dreaded frizz and the tapered wand is coated in ceramic and tourmaline to protect and maintain the health of your hair.  It has a 2.7m swivel cord.

  This size of wand gives beachy, wavy curls.  The wand comes in a gift box and the travel pouch looks very stylish. The wand is a good weight but not too heavy, comfortable to hold and heats up quite quickly.   The size of my wand is more suited to longer hair.  As I cannot lift my arms above my shoulders I just curl my pony tail (or get someone to do it for me).  The long cable gives the user freedom to move around easily whilst using it.   There is no clip to distort the look of the curl.  There are three recommended setting for different types of hair ranging from delicate thin to wavy and thick.  The screen clearly displays which setting is being used.      

This wand is everything I was hoping the Xtava Satin Wave would be.  Easy to use, clip less, and there is a cool tip on the end of the wand! This would make a great gift as it comes in a nice box, looks a lot more expensive than it actually is and would be a great wand for beginners.

Don't forget to use heat spray!

I recieved the Xtava Curling Wand for free from review.directory in exchange for a honest review.

Competition: to win this curling wand enter my rafflecopter competition. Open to the UK. Runs 7-15 October.

To win this wand enter my rafflecopter completion here>>>>
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Available: here

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Jessica Russell Flint: Tiger Tales Mini Sac

The Jessica Russell Flint Tiger Tales mini sac is currently only £15 from £95. It is made from gold vegan leather, waxed material and the graphic is the Tiger Tales design. The inside is made from silk twill and there is a zipped compartment to store all your valuables. It has a draw string closure and adjustable strap. Despite being "mini" it is quite roomy and can fit a lot in! The dust bag is equally gorgeous and quirky in design. There are a few different designs in the sale. 

I purchased this myself and the views expressed in the blog are my own. 


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Jessica Russell Flint: Regal Tiger Handkerchief

The regal tiger handkerchief by Jessica Russell Flint is very majestic and, well, regal! It measures 30x30cm and has the tiger print on one side. I purchased mine from withmuchlove.studio and it cost £13 plus £3.50 postage. It came in a little pillow box. 

I don't intend to use this as a hanky but instead I will use it as a instagram/blog prop as it is eye catching and unusual. The service from the company itself was great. My order got lost, so they sent me a Jessica Russell Flint cotton bag to make up for the delay, which was very generous of them.  I would not hesitate to use them again as their products are unusual and the customer service is grrreat. 

I purchased this item myself and it is available here

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Review: ASOS Anna Sui Gel Foundation Primer, Illuminating BB Cream & Makeup Tin Gift Set


This makeup tin gift set tin by Anna Sui is just £5 and would make a great stocking filler.  The tin is still available to purchase by itself for £5 so you are getting the mini gel foundation(6g)  and mini illuminating beauty balm in 002 medium beige (5ml) for free.  Both these items give a glow to the complexion.

The mini gel foundation primer leaves a very pearlized, glowy finish to the skin.  It is infused with the rose tea fragrance associated with Anna Sui. I could smell the fragrance as I applied the primer but it soon faded away. I found that a little went a long way! This is marketed as a hydrating primer inspired by the texture of blancmange (it is a very spongy consistency).  It should conceal  pores  - looking at the middle picture of my forehead they are reduced but not concealed.  The primer should intensively moisturise leaving a dewy, and supple complexion.  As my skin is oily did leave my skin glowing but it slid off my face slowly throughout the day, taking my foundation with it.  I can see this primer being great for people with dry skin as it would provide a boost of moisture and leave their skin glowy.

The illuminating beauty balm is infused with tea rose - Anna Sui's signature scent.  This BB  cream acts as sun block, it has an SPF of  30/ PA+++, and also claims to act as a primer, foundation and skin care.  I wore this by itself and as used it as a primer.

Using it as a primer I found that it did not increase the longevity of my makeup.  My skin is very oily and the BB cream is very dewy, glowy and hydrating as it contains shea butter - the foundation, cream and my skin did not react well together at all. I do think, however, that it would be great for someone with dry skin due to the hydrating properties

Foundation wise  there are 4 shades - 00 clear, 01 light beige, 02 beige and 03 dark beige. I used it by itself instead of foundation, As you can see in the pictures of my forehead  I found that it is very sheer in coverage. It is supposed to leave a smooth velvety porcelain finish - my skin did not look as red, the pores and fine lines had diminished but it did not look particularly velvety.  

The BB cream is also supposed to have skin care properties.  The shea butter adds hydration and moisturisation (it did), lychee honey extract to smooth skin, it did, my fine lines were not as noticeable and sweet fig extract is included to help fight bacteria that causes acne.

The tin itself is very pretty and could be used to store makeup samples, jewellery or any bits and bobs.

This set is marketed as a duo to provide a healthy, dewy flawless complexion.  As my skin is very oily I did not find it worked that well with my skin type.

I purchased this item myself.
It is available here: ASOS

Friday, 29 September 2017

Sparkling Cresent Moon Crystal Pendant Droplet Hair Clip

I purchased this rose gold  crescent moon crystal pendant hair clip from Ebay UK for £3.99 including delivery.  The clip comes in rose gold, silver, gold and black tone.  The droplets are different, cascading lengths with little stars and plastic, sparkling droplets.  The clip is substantial, I have very thick hair and I could still fit the clip through it.  This clip would be great for Halloween as part of a sparkly witch's outfit or it could also be clipped on to a ribbon to make  statement choker necklace. 

Available here: Ebay UK

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Review & Win: Xtava Satin Wave 5 in 1 Curling Wand with Temperature Control

The Xtava Satin Wave 5 in 1 Curling Wand with temperature control comes with 5 interchangeable ceramic tourmaline barrels, a heat resistant glove and a cute travel case. It costs £21.95 if you have Amazon Prime. It has dual voltage.  The wand has 9 settings from 90 to 210 C and has a 60 minute sleep function.  It has a swivel cord.

It is great that with one wand you can have different size curls.  It does heat up very quickly and it is great that a heat glove is included (although the wand was still very hot when using the glove on high settings).  There is a clear digital screen so it is easy to see what setting you are using.  The swivel cord and automatic sleep function are great safety feature. It comes nicely boxed and is a great price.  

 A major downside to this set is the fact the barrels do not have cool safety tips, so it is quite easy to burn your head.  The clips are are a great idea but they effect your curl, making it wonky.  The heat control buttons are just where you would hold the wand so it is very easy to knock the settings without noticing.  Once the wand has heated up it is difficult to change the barrel to get different sized curls, as you have to use quite a lot of pressure to change the barrel and the wand is hot.  As I have problems using my hands I have difficulty changing the barrels as I have to use quite a lot of pressure to get the barrels to lock in place.  Some of the barrels come with little stands to protect the floor etc from marks whilst they cool down.  These are great in theory, but the stands themselves got warm and I was concerned they would leave burn marks.  

Overall the Xtava Wave comes nicely packaged and you get a lot of different attachments which, with practice, will give you lots of different styles - wavy to different sizes of curl.  What I didn't like  was the absence of safety tips - which is acknowledged in the guide - I only curl the pony tail part of my hair, but there is no way would I put it near my head as I do not want to burn it.  The clips spoil the wave of the curl.  The wand takes ages to cool down and the barrels are difficult to change.  Finally I do not trust the stands, in principle they are a great concept, but I do not think in practice they work that well.   

Always use a protective heat spray.
This competition is only open to the UK and runs from 28 Sept to 5 October.

enter here >>>>> a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the xtava Satin Wave 5 in 1 Curling Wand with Temperature Control for free from review.directory in exchange for an honest review. 
It is available from Amazon UK

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Beak Knows: Anna Sui Fantasia Eau de Toilette 30ml


Fantasia Eau de Toilette (£33 for 30ml, £45 for 50ml, £55 for 75ml) is the much anticipated new fragrance by Anna Sui. Coveted as much for the intricate bottle design, a unicorn standing upon a bottle which looks almost like an acorn with little flowers engraved on it, as much as the fragrance itself, it is a floral, fruity gourmand yet woodsy fragrance. The unicorn and bottle accents are gold tone and the Anna Sui logo is embossed on the neck of the bottle.   The top notes are pink pomelo and pink pepper.  The heart are floral - violet, orange flower, pastel orchid and raspberry praline and the base notes are golden cypress and Himalayan cedar wood.  At first the fragrance is very sweet and raspberry, but as it settles the base notes become more apparent, leaving a lovely lingering, fresh and unique pine, woodsy smell.  It is not a traditional cutesy candy gourmand scent as the woodsy, pine notes contrast with the floral, raspberry chocolatey notes it is a grown up feminine fragrance with enough depth to be a great winter perfume.


I bought this for the Instagramable bottle as much as the actual fragrance but I have found myself reaching quite often for it.   

I purchased this item myself.
Available from Amazon UK

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Book Review: One Night Exotic Fantasies (Mills & Boon)

One Night Exotic Fantasies is a three in one Mills and Boon which contains three previously published books. These books represent good value as they are normally cheaper than purchasing the book individually and a great introduction to new authors.   I would suggest checking before you buy as I have sometimes purchased books I have already read.

 One Night in Paradise by Maisey Yates involves Claire Davies agreeing to marry Zack Parsons after he is dumped at the Altar as he needs a wife to introduce to a prospective business partner.  

Pirate Tycoon, Forbidden Baby by Janette Kenny consists of the pirate tycoon, Andre Gauthier kidnapping his mistress, Kira and taking her away to his Caribbean hideaway.  He is convinced she is hiding secrets from him and has betrayed him to his enemy whilst she has to tell him that she is pregnant.  

Prince Nadir's Secret Heir by Michelle Conder is the traditional sheikh romance.  Prince Nadir has a brief romance with Moulin Rouge dancer Imogen, resulting in a baby daughter.  He has to persuade her to marry him to legitimise his heir.  

Normally the three in one books are based on a theme: sheikhs, billionaires etc.  This one seems to be thrown together and although I enjoyed reading all three books I would have preferred to have read several books with the same theme.

I received my copy from NetGalley and Mills and Boon as I am a Mills & Boon Insider  but this does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.

Available from:
Amazon UK

Friday, 22 September 2017

Sticks & Stones: Birds of a Feather

Birds, especially British birds, autumnal forest green, deep plum and other such dark colours all make great autumnal colours and patterns.  I like to switch up my wardrobe around now, moving to warmer jumpers, knee length boots and longer coats.  

The British Bird walking cane that I have previously reviewed has both a robin and a blue tit embossed on it, so I normally use this stick now.  

The Melanie Tomlinson Hokusai or existing bird brooches make eye catching pieces either as brooches or when converted into necklaces.  Hermes do a gorgeous enamelled bird cuff, but if that is ot of your budget, then deCumi Designs on Etsy does a beautiful recycled aluminium bird cuff for £15 to £20.  There is a wide range of bird jewellery to be found, some purse friendly, others not so much! 

Clothes wise I found these items at Marks and Spencer.  The jumpers are £19.50, and although they  are not traditional autumnal colours, they would bring some colour in to your autumn wardrobe,  the leather jacket £240 and boots £49.50.  These items would look great with skinny jeans or a skirt and the jumpers bring some colour into wet autumn days!

All my links are non-affiliated. 

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 Elie 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 Elie 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.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Origami Jewellery

Origami is a great tool to help to help describe items to visually impaired people.  One of my friends is one of the few people who has no sight at all so it is difficult to explain what say an elephant looks like so she can then imagine it.  We try to find items that resemble what we are trying to describe.  An origami elephant can be felt so she know what a trunk is etc.  size wise it doesn't always help, but it gives her some idea what she is feeling looks like.  Origami itself can get squashed quite easily so a more substantial, but more expensive, alternative is origami jewellery.

Claire Naa and Arnaud Soulignac, inspired by the artistry of Japanese origami and shown how to fol paper into the intricate folds by their friend Masayuki Muraki established "Origami Jewellery". Their first collection was paper and thread.   The duo then went to Japan to find the correct manufacturing processes which could translate their intricate designs into precious metals.  Their first  metal design was produced in 2008, the Tsuru symbol of peace.  Origami Jewellery have expanded their range to include rabbits, deer, Pegasus, triceratops and adorable bats to name but a few.  The pieces come in different finishes, sterling silver plated in rose gold, gold or gun metal and there are also some mini versions too. There are charms for bracelets, earrings, cuff links and pendants They have also expanded the design to include frame designs and pieces with coloured panels.  They are the pinnacle of origami jewellery and expensive £80 for frame designs. £102 for the mini and £120 for the larger ones.  A lot of thought has gone into the design and manufacture of these pieces and they are very realistic and tactile to look at and feel. 

John Greed's Safari Collection  is a more affordable alternative. Rhodium plated silver rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, prices range from £19.95 to £29.95.  Some of the items are cartoonish and they aren't as intricately made but some of the items do resemble the real life version!

I purchased a gold toned geometric rabbit via Amazon UK for £5. Not  true origami as it's back is flat, it does, however, give an idea of what a rabbit looks like, how it has a tail and long ears etc.


Pegasus necklace Sugartrends €140.00 (mini available), different finishes

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Ethiopian Opal Gold Ear Crawlers

I purchased these ear crawlers from thejewelsstore via Etsy UK when I also bought my rutilated Quartz ring and tourmaline ear crawlers. The crawlers cost £52.62 as I went for the 14k gold over sterling silver as I thought the gold set the opals off to their best advantage. They are also available in sterling silver. 

The setting is the same as the tourmaline ear crawlers that I have blogged about previously but this time they are covered in 14k gold.  There are 4 graduated opals in each crawler. They are comfortable to wear and sit nicely on my ear. They are easy to fasten as I just put the back though my pierced ear and squeeze. No need to struggle with butterfly backs! 

The customer service is good and delivery from Japuir to the UK took about 2 weeks (I had forgotten there were national holidays the postal service had closed during this time but he kept me updated as to where they were. I have bought before from this store and would recommend it as the pieces are unusual with good quality stones and settings. The customer service is excellent as well. 
The crawlers are available from here:  Here

Friday, 1 September 2017

Book Review: Secrets Of The A-List (Episode 1)

Secrets Of the A-List by Joss Wood is a 12 part series following the wealthy Marshall family.  Part 1 introduces all the main characters and gives an insight in to relationships within the family itself whilst the family comes to terms with the fact that the patriarch: Harrison, has been in a serious car accident and that if he survives he may be seriously brain damaged. Mariella, his wife and their children, Rafe, Luc and Elana plus their cousin Gabe all have secrets that they do not want to be revealed.  The shadowy "Fixer" who has a murky relationship with Harrison also lurks in the background with his own story to tell.

 I received my copy from NetGalley and Mills and Boon via #Mills and Boon Insiders, but this does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.

Available from Amazon UK for free to download to your Kindle here
Part of the first 4 books bundled together £1.99 from M&B website or Amazon UK