Spring/Summer Shimmer.

Some mornings when you wake up things can look a little dull; grey skies, a bit of drizzle and low temperatures. Well, for me, that was certainly made impossible today by a very colourful press pack from Swarovski that had landed in my inbox overnight.

Their S/S 13 collection is slowly trickling into stores and becoming available online and my oh my there are some absolutely incredible pieces in it. The collection is huge so there really is a piece to suit every occasion which is great. However, I haven't been able to feature every item therefore I've chosen some of my favourites - so I hope you enjoy my picks!

Just look at some of these amazing rings that are already available online:

My favourite has to be the Translucent ring. Anybody who knows me can vouch for the fact that I love jewellery featuring bugs. Off the top of my head I can think of a bee necklace, a beetle ring, a spider ring and some fly earrings that are currently sitting pretty in my jewellery box; so the Translucent ring works wonders for me! That said I have to admit that the Sketch ring is a very close second. That would make any outfit absolutely shine - it's exquisite.

Next up, check out these earrings:

Toco Flamingo earrings | coming soon
Torpedo earrings | coming soon

There's really no need to explain why I've picked the Tangara earrings out - their appeal and beauty are clear to see. They make me want to RSVP to the next black tie event and wear them from now until then! The Toco Flamingo earrings are part of a set (more later) and I just think look great. The same with the Torpedo earrings. I've long been a fan of Mexican death skulls and it's a sort of strange personal goal to one day paint my face at a festival in the style of one so this particular cell of the collection really resonates with me.

And where would anyone be without an excruciatingly attractive accessory or two?

Because who doesn't need a pair of show stopping sunglasses?
I couldn't resist the bag. I know it's turned the 'bling dial' up to 120% but there's just something about it that means it, for some reason, isn't too much. I think I'd even love it with a basic grey tee, old jeans and black heels. And another installation of the Torpedo group - this time a charm-esque bracelet - coming soon.

My final picks from the collection are all necklaces because we all know how I love a good statement piece hanging round my neck.

Ladies and gentlemen please remain in your seats for the entire performance:

Translucent pendant | £159.00
Thyra necklace | £949.00
(This actually comes with a section to extent the main embellishment of the necklace further - this is removable and can be worn as a bracelet also - amazing!)
Toco Flamingo pendant | coming soon

I've always loved Swarovski so I'm thrilled to be sharing some sneak peeks of the upcoming collection with you. From lower key pieces to absolute head turners, they have it all this season.

I hope you've enjoyed this foray into the glamourous life of crystal as much as I have - I feel some spending coming on!


Animal Magic.

This is a post I've been meaning to pen for a while but the timing seems perfect now that it leads on from a post about my new CatHat (not its official name but I've decided that it should be.)

As I wrote in my last post I believe there should always be an element of fun to fashion. Not in every single outfit perhaps, but certainly in every single wardrobe. I think when there are bigger, scarier things happening in the world that sometimes seem too large to comprehend a little perspective needs to be taken in terms of the fashion world.

I know some people eat, sleep, breathe fashion - and to a degree I do too. But you know those people I'm talking about; those folk who are offended to witness someone wear something a few seasons old at a black tie dinner - that, to me, is someone who takes the whole thing just far too seriously.

Which is why this latest trend cheers me so.

Unless you've been under a rock lately you can't help but have noticed the cropping up of warmer clothing depicting animals. First championed by Mulberry's AW 12 campaign the trend has trickled down through the various brands and right onto the high street. It was only when a friend showed me her new tiger face (wearing glasses - great!) jumper that she'd picked up in Sainsburys that I realised just how widespread this had become. And with requests to write a post about how to keep warm but stay current in the fashion world I got my research head on and here's what I've come up with:

While I'm a personal lover of this trend I understand some of you might find it a bit bold to wear so obviously so why not dabble into the animal kingdom with an accessory or two?

My personal favourite has to be the rottweiler clutch. I mean, where would I be without my outlandish accessories? Shame Christmas is over - that would have definitely been on my Santa's list.

I know that such strong trends aren't for everyone but if there's ever a style you're keen on but going the whole hog doesn't appeal keep accessories in mind. Sometimes they're the best, and most fun, way to dabble.


The Purrfect New Accessory.

Fashion - my first love. It has always been something that has fascinated me since I was a little girl; admiring stylish women from afar and, foolishly in hindsight, willing myself to grow up so that I could be in charge of my every sartorial decision and relish in each one.

Now that adulthood has well and truly enveloped me and my passion for all things trend-led has only multiplied. I have been privileged to be able to work in the industry too, enjoying all its twists and turns and learning as much as my eyes and ears can take in.

So it's ironic really that my latest buy bares a striking resemblance to a childhood fancy dress prop.

Ladies and gents let me introduce you to my new ears.

Look, I'm a cat/dog!
My new cat ears to be precise.

When I saw, some weeks ago, that high street giants Topshop were selling a bowler-esque hat with cats ears atop I almost fell over with excitement. Then I saw the price...£22.00.

Now I know it's hardly a bank-breaking charge for a cool new accessory, and usually I may not have been so deterred from parting with my pennies but I'm currently 'without job' so I need to make every pound stretch.

So here's where my secret weapon comes into play. Ebay. A few clicks and I'd located an almost identical product for £5.09 and free postage. Now before you go thinking there must be a catch...there is. Said hat was in China. But for £5.09 I wasn't arguing so quickly committed to the purchase.

It arrived this morning. It's been on my head since.

If you love it as much as me here's a link to the item and it comes in a variety of colours. It's taken 12 days (inc. weekends) to get to me which I think is great.

Obviously I understand there are those of you who don't mind Topshop pricing and would prefer the option of next day delivery so here's their link too.

What appeals to me so much about this hat is that it is all about whimsy. And really, once you take fashion so seriously that you can't laugh at yourself once in a while it's time to get out of the game - you're too jaded.

Hours of fun.


It's In The Details.

Apologies for the radio silence; the last week has been a flurry of job hunting, seeing friends and slowly but surely moving house as and when I have access to a car.

Today's deposit of belongings back to the family home was all those little details that make your room really feel like yours: necklaces, photos, framed postcards etc. and as I was setting them up around my room I thought I'd take a few shots and show you some of those little details that make my every day just that bit shinier.

The wood you can see some of my necklaces hanging from was my wonderful Christmas gift from the OH. After seeing something similar on a blog some months ago and describing it to him recently he sneakily went off and made me one. I love it!

Photos of friends are so important to me, they remind me who my nearest and dearest are and keep great memories vivid. The beautiful hand-painted plate was a gift from my BFF Hannah and her lovely boyf - they always bring me amazing pieces back from their travels around the world, lucky me!

That's all for today I'm afraid as I've a few more 'loads' in the car to do before I can relax with a cup of tea and watch Miranda with my mum. Roll on 9pm!


The Cut(ting) Edge.

So I did it. I kept my appointment and finally got my hair professionally cut. What I failed to mention in my last post was that, for the last little while, I've been taking my hair style into my own hands. Literally. I trimmed it and kept half an eye on my fringe but after months of this it was starting to look a little lop-sided so I needed a specialist to step in.

Here's the pictures I shoved in the poor hairdressers face as soon as I arrived:

Yes, I went for The Claudia.

Of course the usual thing still happened - despite me stating exactly what I wanted there was the predictable conversational tussle over trying layers, a different length, different fringe or colour etc. etc. I don't know what it is with hairdressers and my hair but only 1 or 2 over the years have ever just said, "OK," and got on with what I've asked for.

Still, after slightly more insistence than I was wanting she cut it blunt and sorted my fringe and here's how my head's looking now.

I'm absolutely thrilled with it and will now make the vow not to leave it so long again. This is a look I want to preserve.

Tomorrow's task: copying Claudia's eye makeup! Anyone any tips for me?


Hairs Lookin' At You, Kid.

Considering that I class myself as the type of person who looks after herself - I eat healthily, exercise, regularly paint my nails and enjoy good makeup and clothes - it's strange that the one thing I am rarely on top of is my most prominent feature. My hair.

I've always been blessed (thanks Mum) with thick, shiny hair and it appears that no matter what I do to it, heat styling wise, it refuses to look damaged and needs very little maintenance to look acceptable.

However, after last years foray into the dip dye scene my hair has been a little lack lustre. I don't blame it - I took half of it and bleached the life out of it leaving the ends noticeably irate and leaving me panicking and staring at shelves and shelves of hair products in Boots that I'd never even seen before, let alone used.

Hair masks, leave in conditioners, colour restorers...I've seen, and used, them all now. But still my locks seem unwilling to return to their former glory, choosing instead to taunt me with my self inflicted battle scars - split ends. So I've come to the conclusion that there's only one thing for it. The chop...

This is my current head of hair. I took this picture about 5 minutes ago and you can see clearly the fly-aways and general unruliness I am facing. So tomorrow at 5.30pm I am handing a lovely woman some money to make me look human again.

Now, I fear the hairdressers the same way some fear the dentist or doctor. One (or 3) bad experiences have left me, on average, getting my hair cut about once a year - with a large amount of morphine in my blood. Which means most of the time my 'style' is 'default'. I let it hang as it grows.

In the past I have been to several different salons and asked several different stylists to do this, that or the other and every time I have left near to tears at their sheer determination to ignore what I've requested and do what they think looks best. I sometimes wonder that because I have such thick hair they have a bit of a creative field day with it - and there's very little you can do once they've turned you into what appears to be the love child of John Lennon and Thelma from Scooby Doo. (You laugh but this happened once and after 3 days of tears I demanded my money back. When I went to get it back it turned out the head stylist (and moron who'd wrecked my hair) had been sacked for several similar offences. Encouraging.)

But I have found a good salon on the recommendation of friends whose hair doesn't make them look as if they've just walked away from a terrible accident and I'm off to test it out tomorrow. Now all I need to do is decide who to use as inspiration.

I've whittled it down to Freja Behan, Alexa Chung and Claudia Winkleman.

While I am a long standing fan of Freja Behan's I'm aware she's just too cool for school and although she suits disheveled-chic down to the ground I fear I may end up looking to most that I've just woken up and simply had no time to even run my fingers through my tresses.

Alexa Chung, on the other hand is someone whose style I could definitely get on board with. I already look to her in the sartorial department regularly so why not in the locks dept. too?

And finally we come to Claudia Winkleman. I've always admired her for her infectious presence on television, drawing you into whichever programme she's commentating on. I think she could even get me enthused about football. But just these past couple of years she's really been upping her credentials in the style stakes and she looks incredible for it. Now I just need to master the year round light glow and perfect day to night eyeliner.

So I think the picture I'll take to the salon will most likely be.....

Stay tuned for a post cut update. (And wish me luck!)


Style Saver.

First and foremost.

So we've made it.


The world didn't end, I managed to avoid putting on 16 stone in mulled wine weight and my festive period was just the right mix of relaxing and party filled. All in all I've had a pretty satisfactory start to the year of my lucky number. No, not 2013 - that's a bit obscure - 13 is my lucky number so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for bigger and better things coming my way.

I'm still on the job hunt and have now entered the last month of my inner city living. Having lived in the centre of Manchester almost constantly since I was 18 the extended move back home will feel a little suburban at first I'm sure but with access to a car I'm sure I'll not be away from it long.

And so we've come to that time of year again - the sales. Not one to ever bow out of such tantalising flurries of discounts I immediately looked at my favourite brands; and then teased myself with some others knowing full well that with my next wage slip out of reach I couldn't go anywhere near some things even at their sale prices!

I'm not one to brave the crowds, partly because I can think of nothing worse that trying to snatch the last scarf from under someones nose and partly because I enjoy the time with my family too much to give it up to angry shoppers and frustrating queues. So it's online for me!

First it was Zara:

I've needed a good pair of riding style boots for ages but never found quite the right pair for me. Well, it turns out if you chuck a load of studs at some leather that'll pretty much float my boat and as they were down to a jaw-dropping £40.00 it was a no-brainer really. I mean £40.00 for leather boots? C'mon!
(They're sold out now...sorry!)

I'd really like to be able to style these a little something like the lovely Annette Tang from The Versastyle (above) and not always plump for the safe ensemble of jeans, jersey top, statement necklace and parka so maybe a post on how many outfits I can pair them with will be up soon.

Then it was Vero Moda (via House of Fraser.)

I have a friend who every time I see her looks great. And every time I ask where that dress/shirt/jumper/skirt was from as I'd love a similar one/pair/seven the answer is almost always Vero Moda. How this brilliant gem of a brand has stayed off my radar for so long only serves to make me feel a little ashamed of myself for not giving it it's dues sooner.

But I have taken the plunge and made my first purchase - a beautiful silk-feel top with animal print sequin detailing on the sleeves. It's a great piece as it gives a day time outfit a glam punch or popped on tucked into a skater skirt and some killer heels and you've got a great bar outfit too.
It was £28.00 and is now a mere £14.00 but with limited stock you'd better snap yours up quickly! Here.

Then it was my-wardrobe.com.

Like the boots I have needed a good pair of black jeans...well, forever. I only own blue denim pairs which I love and wear religiously but it seemed time for a black pair to enter the fray and Michael Kors has sorted me out.

I love the zip detailing at the ankles and that all the metal work is gold. I'm much more a 'gold' person than a 'silver' one so these are just my dream pair. They fit like a glove, are the perfect length for flats or heels and, so far, have received a compliment from nearly everyone I've worn them in front of. Not bad for a week old pair of trousers.

They were £110.00 which is what you'd expect from premium brand jeans but they were down to £77.00 and with an extra 10% off on the particular day of purchase. These are now sold out too I'm afraid but my-wardrobe.com has a ton of similar pairs and today's an extra 25% off so get clicking.

Those are my three main joys this year but here are the others I've been taunting myself with. Enter Zara (again,) Michael Kors (again,) and Mulberry.

As you can tell I'm quite the animal print fan.

The boots were £79.99 and are now £49.99. The jumpsuit was £215.00 and is now £86.00 (but, thankfully, is no longer available in my size.) And those shoes...oh, those shoes...were £425.00 and are now a snip (ha!) at £255.00.

I've been after the Mulberry shoes for months now and am praying they are discounted again as, at the moment, all sizes are still in stock so they appear to be a bit of a niche item.

Here's hoping anyway!