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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, 10 December 2017

The Snowman LED Colour Changing Minature Figurine.




This miniature LED colour changing snowman ornament was inspired by The Snowman story written by Raymond Briggs.  He doesn't have glitter and water swirling inside him, but changes through more colour combinations via a single LED light in the base.  He stands 8cm tall, so he is quite dinky but still very bright when switched on.  He comes fitted with the LR44 batteries needed to make him work. I purchased mine online for £5 from John Lewis, but they have sold out.  They were still for sale onsite there and at The Range. Online I saw them for sale through   Ebay UK    (£2.95 & £3.95 p&p) and from Christmastreesandlights.co.uk for £9.99 including P&P.


He looks great as a nightlight or sat on a window sill and will definitely be brought out year after year!

I purchased this item myself and all views are my own.

The Snowman and The Snowdog Colour Changing Water Figure Ornament



The Snowman and the Snowdog colour changing by water figure is £9.99 from The Range.  Inspired by the book The Snowman from Raymond Briggs, he is 22cm in height and needs 4x AAA batteries for the LED lights inside his tummy to work.  The colours change,  glitter and water swirl around inside him.  It is so relaxing to watch! He is bright and eye catching and still looks impresssive when he is not lit up. The only disappointing aspect is the lack of the Snowdog!




I purchased this myself from The Range UK. Original RRP £15, now £9,99.
Available Here

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Wilko Encapsulated Dome with White Reindeer


If you want a dome/reindeer themed decoration that is not as expensive as the M&S light up woodland dome, then this £3 alternative from Wilko is great. Part of the frosted collection, the ornament measures 6.5cm (w)x6.5cm(d)x17.5cm (h) and has a white reindeer in the centre of the dome.  There is fake snow which swirls around when it is shaken. It is made of glass.  It does not look cheap. It isn't twee but looks like a realistic reindeer.  It looks etherealistic and magical, icy and wintery.  I purchased mine in store.  

                             

I purchased this item myself.
Available here:Wilko

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Gisela Graham LED Light Up Church Decoration




This LED Light Up Church Decoration is from the Gisela Graham range of decorations and costs £8.95. I purchased from Liberty London.  It has a silver tone base, glittery roof and base, and is made from acrylic. It measures 11cm(h) x 7.5cm(w).  It has very glacial, gothic, Lord of the Rings feel to it and the details are amazing. The clock, window arches, bell tower are all intricately designed and the decoration looks like an ice sculpture! The LED light is very bright and glowy.



Available: Liberty

M&S Mini Light Up House Decoration












This light up dome mini house decoration is from M&S and is £6.  It is in the 3 for 2 promotion and measures 10cm (h) and 5cm (w).  It is tiny but gives a warm glow.  The switch is on the base of the ornament. It is no longer available online. I purchased mine in store. 





Book Review: Royals Claimed By The Prince (M&B) K Lawrence, P Jordan, L Monroe


Royals: Claimed by the Prince is a 3in1 book published by Mills and Boon. All three books have been previously published as single books, but these collection books work out cheaper (£6.99 Kindle ) or cheaper if Amazon etc are having a sale.  They are great to take on holiday or as an option ntroductipn to the M&B genre and specific authors.  This collection combines three well known M&B authors - Kim Lawrence, Penny Jordan and Lucy Monroe. 

The Heatbreaker Prince by Kim Lawrence tells the story of spoilt socialite Hannah Latimer attempting to become an aid worker, getting captured and being accused of drug smuggling.  Prince Kamal has to rescue and consequently marry her.  She comes accross as a misunderstood well meaning klutz, whilst he is very proper, will their passion be enough to make a future together. 

Passion and the Prince is by Penny Jordan.  Prince Marco di Lucchesi first encounters Lily Wrightington at a photo shoot taking less than salubrious pictures of his nephew.  She took the job of photographer as a favour to her half brother, but Marco does not know this.  They later meet in Italy when Marco has been told to escort her around and photograph some Palazzos his family own there.  She bumps in to Anton - someone who has tried to abuse her as a young girl and he threatens to try again.  Marco helps her overcome her abuser.  I did not enjoy this book, it was disjointed and dated.


Prince of Secrets by Lucy Monroe tells the story of Prince Demyan Zaretsky marrying the unsuspecting Chanel Tanner in order to protect his country's wealth. Hiding his princely identity Demyan courts Chanel but his conscience is piqued when he realised she is a virgin. This is an update on the Cinderella theme and an enjoyable read. 



received this book via Netgalley and Mills and Boon in exchange for an honest review,  I am a #MillsandBooninsider

Available from: 


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

M&S Paddington Bear Resin Gold Bauble

 


The Paddington Bear Resin Bear is available in both gold and traditional colours from Marks and Spencers.  He is available in store and online. He costs £4 and is part of the 3for2 offer.  He measures 10ck(h)x5.3xm(w).  His face is adorable and the detail is amazing. He would make a great gift for a Paddy Byron Bear lover of any age!

I purchased my Paddington Bear myself. 
Available here: 


Friday, 1 December 2017

Snowdog Christmas Tree Decoration


The Snowdog  Christmas tree decoration is available from Wild in Art for £7.80 plus p&p.  The decorations come in four colour ways, original (inspired by the Snowdog in the Snowman and the Snowdog, sparkly red, sparkly silver and sparkly gold.  The sparkly versions give a twist to the original and are inspired by the original Snowdog figurine. Each one costs £7.80 but you can save £5.20 if you buy the set of four. There are larger versions available for £35 each. 

They are made from earthenware and measure 7.5cm tall, 4.5 cm wide and 8.5cm long, the gold thread measure 4cm. He has an adorable face and would make a great gift for a Snowman/Snowdog fan of any age. 

Wild in Art bring The Snowman and the Snowdog to life, creating Snowdog trails.  Working with local charities they do not only bring awareness to these causes, but also raise vital funds and contribute to the local economy as well. Great North Snowdog, the first of these trails boosted the local North East economy by £16.5 million pounds.  More than 676,000  people visited the trail. The Snowdogs were then auctioned off for charity. During the Snowdog Art Trails 7.5% of the purchase price goes to a charity chosen by Wild in Art. In 2016 they worked with charity partners St. Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle for ‘Great North Snowdogs’, and Martlets Hospice in Brighton for ‘Snowdogs by the Sea’. In 2017 they worked with Tŷ Hafan, the Children’s Hospice in Cardiff for ‘Snowdogs: Tails in Wales.  


I purchased this item myself.
Available online from Snowdogarttrails.co.uk
Information about their charitable endeavers Here

M&S Decorations: Light Up Forest Scene In A Bell Jar



This Light Up Forest Scene In A Bell Jar is currently £25 and on the 3 for 2 decorations offer at Marks and Spencer. It would make a great winter table decoration as it features a tree surrounded and sat on by lots of woodland animals. A squirrel, bird and owl sit in the trees' branches whilst a deer, with a squirrel sat on it's bottom, and fox stand next to the tree itself. The pin wire lights that are intertwined in the tree add a warm gentle glow to the scene. The bell jar is glass and cannot be removed from the base.

The lights are powered by 3xAAA batteries which come with the jar.  The switch is on the bottom so the switch is very discrete.  It doesn't come with a box so make sure the customer service assistant wraps it carefully as although it isn't fragile, the jar would probably crack if dropped. It measures 13cm(h) 13cm(depth) and 13 cm (width).

This is a different type of Christmas decoration.  It isn't glittery, sparkly or colourful blown glass.  It is understated and elegant, it looks like there is another world looking out from under that glass jar.  I think it is a winter rather than just a Christmas decoration and it won't be packed away in January but will stay on the table until Spring.



I purchased this item myself.  It is available online and in store.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Book Review: Captive For The Sheikh's Pleasure (M&B) Carol Marinelli




Captive For The Sheikh's Pleasure by Carol Marinelli is the first in the Ruthless Royal Sheikhs Series.  Shiekh Ilyas al-Razim knew from birth that one day he would be King of Zayrinia.  He is committed to preserving his family's reputation when his brother, yet again, caused embarrassment and preventing a waitress, Maggie Delaney, from blackmailing him. Maggie vehemently denies this claim.  Once she has proved her innocence she is free to return home, but will she? 

This is a very well written book, full of imagery of the desert and the past.  It could, without the mention of photographers and the internet be a historical romance.  The mythical royal stories, descriptions of star gazing and sandstorms all add to the depth of the book.

I received this book via Netgalley and Mills and Boon in exchange for an honest review,  I am a #MillsandBooninsider





Festive Poinsettia Adjustable Derby Cane


Classic Canes have brought out a festive poinsettia adjustable walking stick/cane for the festive season. It is £34 from walkingstickonline.com.  It is a petite stick, adjustable from 66-90cm, weighs 260g and has a smaller handle, 18x15mm. I love the fact the bottom part of the stick is a different colour to the red poinsettia as it makes a less in your face and not as floral but Christmassy.
It is available Walkingsticksonline.co.uk

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Z for Accessorize 2x Anya Earring Pack

                                     


All Z for Accessorize jewellery is on 3 for 2 (online only) so I purchased the Anya earring pack and some other items as well. The studs cost £15 for both pairs before the discount plus the £2 flat rate p&p.  There is also a matching pendant - the Anya cluster pendant which is also £15.

The tear drop pair are yellow gold plated and the semi precious stone is labradorite.  The round pair of studs are also yellow gold plated and have cubic zirconia stones.  As they are both tiny I found them hard to grip and get in to my ear lobes.  I also found the backing hard to put on the post to secure them, again. I found the backing to be too small for my fingers to hold on to, so in the future I will stick to butterfly and fish wire closures.  I do like the style and look of the earrings, especially the labradorite ones.  They are small, discreet and elegant but I did find it tiring trying to fasten them in place, so I am not sure if they will be worn very often for this reason. 

                    

I purchased these earrings myself.
They are available online and in store. They are available here

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Rie Designs: A6 Recycled Plain Wildlife Jotter


I have purchased several items of jewellery from Valerie Harrison, artist and illustrator, the owner and designer of Rie_Designs in the past few years. I blogged about the mini pet portrait pendant I commissioned here and the Penguin mini portrait pendant here. I needed some small flat gifts that could be used instead of Christmas cards and would be more useful to the recipient as well.  I chose this A6 plain recycled notebook with the wildlife print (it also comes in several diffferent designs, seashells, autumn, fish etc). It can easily be slipped in a handbag and the design is so pretty!

It cost £2.50 plus p&p and would make a great thoughtful gift for almost anyone as the designs cover most interests.  My potential receiver loves wildlife spotting so maybe she will use it to keep track of what she has spotted.  

Valerie lives on the North Rhins, South West Scotland and her designs are inspired by the wildlife, nature and countryside of that area. The items are then handmade in Dumfries and Galloway.  The hand drawn prints are not only used for notebooks but also jewellery, cards and gifts all of which are also reasonably priced. The wooden robin earrings are £5.95, otter hair clips £4.95, mini picture frame necklaces £9.95 and the cards and book marks £2.50. There is also a range of notebooks and handbag size mirrors.


Ebay shop
Etsy

The Old FarmHouse Jewellery: Squirrel Studs




I first notice The Old Farmhouse Jewellery range when browsing my instagram feed. They are based in Penzance, UK and the owner/designer is Victoria Whitaker.   She has an Etsy shop and a shop based at Theoldfarmhousejewellery.com.  She accepts commissions and stocks a large range of her own own affordable designs.  

I purchased these mini squirrel sterling silver studs (£10) plus p&p from Etsy.   They are tiny - all the mini stud range measure 0.6-0.8mm.   They are not twee but very squirrel like. Even though they are tiny (and my poor grip and coordination issues) they are quite easy to grip and put in the ear lobe.  They fasten with a butterfly backing.  There is a huge choice of designs in the mini stud range - squirrels, ducks, hedgehogs etc.  There are also anklets, bangles, children's Jewellery and a Cornwall copper range. After having several visiting hedgehogs over the summer my next purchase will be the he hedgehog studs. 


Available from their Etsy shop: here (squirrell studs).

Monday, 27 November 2017

Gisela Graham Christmas Ornaments


My family have a Christmas tradition whereby each year we take it in turns to select some Christmas decorations from Selfridges, Harrods or Liberty London. Previous years have included cats, santas elves and reindeer. This year was my turn and these are the ones I selected. All my Gisela Graham Christmas ornaments were purchased at Liberty London, apart from the gingerbread house and gingerbread man which I purchased via EBay UK. They are all around the same height - 7.5cm and they are made out of resin apart from the glittery plastic peacock. They cost between £3.95 - £6.95 each (prices and links below). They hang beautifully and don't twizzle around so they can't be seen properly, or they can be used as ornaments. I have taken the cord off the squirrel and blue tit as they are sat in the window. They are definitely ntly instagrammable pieces - I used the gingerbread ornaments when photographing/reviewing my Too Faced gingerbread man Lipstick. All of the ornaments are gorgeous and well made and certainly too cute just to be put out at Christmas time. My favourite is the squirrel - he has such a cheeky gleam in his eye as he clutches his snack!

 
Available here:
Robin on a letterbox Set of 2 (£9.50)
The other items were out of stock. 

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Z for Accessorize: Santorini Semi Precious Pendant




The Santorini semi precious necklace/ pendant is part of Accessorize's winter 2017 range. It costs £17  and the semi precious stone is blue agate.  The chain and setting are gold plated and it has an attached link xtender chain and the closure is a lobster clasp.  The chain measures 14" (16" with the extender).  The stone measures 2cm (L) 1.75cm (W).  The setting is elegant and secure.  The stone looks very unusual and elegant and contrasts fabulously against darker, winter colours.



I purchased my necklace from Accessorize.com and it can be found here

Friday, 24 November 2017

Z for Accessorize: Rose Gold Eliza Semi Precious Long Pendant Necklace





The Eliza semi precious longline rose gold necklace is part of the Z for Accessorize range stocked at Accessorize. It costs £27, so it is at the higher end of the scale price wise, but it is a beautiful and elegant piece of jewellery.  The chain measures 32cm including the lobster clasp and extended chain and is adorned with cubic zirconia and labradorite beads.  The pendant is a rose quartz stone which measures 2cm (L)x 1.7cm (W).  The piece is rose gold plated and the warm coloured gold offsets the rose quartz beautifully. The extender chain means that the necklace can be worn at slightly different lengths. 

I purchased the item online from Accessorize.com.  Postage and packaging was £2 and the package arrived within 3 working by days.  It comes on a little Z for Accessorize swing tag. 



Available here

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Z for Accessorize: Opal Hoop Earrings



These hoop earrings (£15) are from the Z for Accessorize Winter 2017 collection. They are gold plated and are studded with an opal and a cubic zirconia stone on either side. They are hoop earrings and the addition of the stones takes them to the level in terms of elegance and a luxe look.  They feel light to wear and as they are quite small hoop earrings could be worn as either elegant office wear or popped on for a night out in either jeans and a snuggly sweater or as part of a black tie outfit. 

They come fastened on a Z for Accessorize swing tag.  I bought mine from Accessorize.com.  I paid £2 postage and they arrived within 3 working days, carefully packaged in Accessorize branded packages and box. I love that this range uses semi precious stones and their designs are unusual but at the same time timeless. I have noticed, however, fewer and fewer of the designs incorporate them and I do wish they would use sterling silver or vermeil as the gold eventually rubs off and I would love some of the designs all the time. 





Available here

Tesco Hedgehog Ring Dish


I found this little guy, well hedgehog ring holder/ dish in my local Tesco Extra. I cannot find him online be but he cost £3 in store and was tucked away in the jewellery box section. He is cute Bute not twee and can store a fair bit of jewellery in the dish. The dish has cute little gold paw prints printed on it and the hedgehog has a gold nose. The rest of the item is white glaze and the whole thing is ceramic so doesn't drop it!  He is a fabulous find and would make a great secret santa/ stocking filler etc. There were other items in the range including a candle holder so your whole dressing table could be hogified.



I purchased this item myself in store at Tesco Extra.

Fox & Ivy Set of Two Nested Glass Jewellery Boxes


There is a definite trend in jewellery boxes this Winter 2017.  Glass and copper terrarium style trinket boxes are the "in" style. Beloved  by both instagrammers and bloggers as the boxes are certainly photogenic, they combine two key elements- rose gold and glass.

They certainly aren't a cheap purchase, I found some copper/ glass trays and boxes at Debenhams, for example, where prices range from £24 - 30.  Paperchase have a triangular terrarium jewellery box for £20, but the jewellery can only go no the bottom, there are no shelves so there is a huge amount of wasted space.  Urban Outfitters has some really cool divided coloured glass trinket boxes (£24), but still expensive items.  There are some gorgeous ones available on EBay but there is no guarantee they will get here for Christmas and stock photos can be very deceiving. 

I was wandering through my local Tesco Extra and noticed that they have a variety of glass, terrarium  style trinket boxes under the brand Ivy & Fox. The prices are reasonable - I got a set of 2 for £15.  They are a nice size - the larger box measures 14cm (W)x 12cm(L) x 7cm (H).  The smaller one measures 10cm (W)x 5m (H) x 9cm (L).  They are well made and the lid stayed up when opened so no risk of it crashing down on fingers as you reach for a piece of jewellery.   As there are 2 in each set you could keep one and give the other as a Christmas/Birthday/whatever gift or keep them both for yourself. There were lots of other lovely jewellery boxes on display on my local Tesco including a blue shabby chic mini dresser style box, so it is well worth a browse.


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

Monday, 20 November 2017

Book Review: The Billionaire's Christmas Baby by Marion Lennox


                                      

Max Grayland has inherited his baby half sister just in time for Christmas.  His father has died and his step mother has abandoned her baby daughter once she found out that she would only receive financial support if she had a boy,  She leaves the baby in the hotel suite, which is where Sunny Rae, the hotel maid, finds her.  Max asks/demands that she should help him over Christmas whilst he sorts out child care.  She agrees, so long as they spend the festive period with her family.  Sunny thought love solved everything whilst for Max love was an anathema. He was used to taking people financially but not loving them.   Max changes his view as realises he, and the baby, need/love Sunny.

This is a slow burn romance.  It is enjoyable but drawn out in places.  

I received this book via Netgalley and Harlequin Romance in exchange for an honest review,
The Billionaire's Christmas Baby by Marion Lennox is published by Cherish Mills and Boon on 30 November 2017 in the UK and December  5st 2017 by Harlequin Romance.   
Available from:Amazon UK



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Book Review: The Bridesmaid's Royal Bodyguard by Liz Fielding



Published by Tule Publishing on 18 October 2017, The Bridesmaid's Royal Bodyguard by Liz Fielding is the third book in the "Royal Invitations" series.  Ally Parker has returned home to Combe St Philip after losing her jb at a gossip magazine.  Her friend, Hope, employs her as a PR consultat for her forthcoming marriage to Prince Jonas.  Head of the Royal family's security, Count Fredrik Jensson, does not approve of her employment due to her prior employment and her debts which could encourage her leak stories to the press.  He tries to fight his attraction to her.  Will they overcome their past issues and make a future together?

I received this book from Netgalley and Tule Publishing in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Review & #Win #Beauty&theBeast #primark #Mrs Potts & #Chip Bag and Purse

Primark Beauty and the Beast Chip Cross Body Bag & Purse




The Chip purse and cross body bag were available for about a second in Primark.  It is an official Disney product. I got mine via Ebay and the pair were £18 including postage. There are still some available on Ebay and the price seems to be slowly gong down.




The cross body bag is cute. It has Chip on one side and is a contrasting pink on the other.  It has a pinky/gold glittery bottom and a iridescent gold nose/handle. The zip goes along the back of the bag rather than the top so it can be difficult to fit things in it.  The strap is quite short as it is meant to be a child's bag and it is not adjustable in length.  The bag measures 12x19cm and the strap 39cm.


The chip  purse, like the bag has Chip on one side and is a contrasting pink on the other.  He has a glittery pink base, a gold iridescent handle and a gold zip at the top. He is fully lined.   He measures 9x11cm




I purchased these items myself.  To win a set of Chip and Mrs Potts cross body bag and purse follow the instructions below:
This is open internationally but as I have left it so late I cannot guarantee it will arrive before Christmas.
Complete the Rafflecopter requirements, the only mandatory option is to follow my blog, the rest are optional.
Competition runs from 20 Nov-4 Dec 11.59 GMT.

enter here >>>
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Book Review: Little Secrets: Holiday Baby Bombshell By Karen Booth


Holiday Baby Bombshell by Harelquin was published on 1 November 2017 by Desire (Mills & Boon) in the UK and on November 2017 in the US.

Ex competitive swimmer turned real estate agent/magnate Michael Kelly finds himself in direct competition with his pregnant ex-lover and hotel heiress Charlotte Locke. As they compete to sell the most number of apartments in the same hotel, The Grand Legacy, they find themselves living in appartments on the same floor, next door to each other. Charlotte is determined to keep her pregnancy a secret from both her over protective family and from her commitment phobe ex-lover and make a success of her real estate business. Michael has to overcome his avoidance to commitment, grow up and address childhood issues if their relationship is to grow.  Two adorable dogs add humour to the story!

I got this book free from Netgalley and Harlequin in exchange for an honest review. 
Available here

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Review: Evie Bird Peanut Butter Jar Holder

                           


Winter, for me, means not only changing up my wardrobe, moisturising and makeup routine but also changing and increasing my bird feeders.  In the summer I use my Gardmans kids bird feeding station.  In the winter I like to add more feeders to encourage other birds to feed in my garden.  As I cannot lift my arms above my head, use  screwdrivers etc I find it difficult to find suitable feeders. 

                             

The Evie plastic peanut butter jar holder for birds is great for me.  I can securely Velcro it around washing lines, drain pipes or tree trunks or hang it from a tree.  You take the front off and insert the jar securely in the plastic housing.  Once it is securely inside the wooden front is fastened back in place.  The peanut butter is made especially for birds, so do not try and eat it! and comes in different flavours.

I purchased my 3 Evie peanut butter holders from Horze.co.uk.  The holders are £7.49 each, with three colour ways (cheaper than Amazon UK) and the peanut butter jars £2.99 each.  The customer service from Horze was great.  They emailed me when the items were dispatched, the items arrived within a week and were securely wrapped.

I purchased these items myself and are available here