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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Handbags, a girl's best friend

I thought I would write a post about bags. Since I was a little girl I have had a major obsession with bags. They're are the ultimate accessory. Perhaps it is because I was a chubby child and size didn't matter when it came to bags. You can happily treat yourself without having to worry if it fits you right or if your behind looks big. I have a bit of a appetite for colours as well. I love the way you can add a splash of colour to any outfit so easily, it can literally make an outfit. As I have got older my taste has become more expensive, so the frequency of my purchases are less, but I am safe guarding a fab collection that I can pass down to Scarlett and for her they will be vintage. She is such a lucky girl. I am also very lucky as Ian understands my love for bags and some times treats me for birthdays and Christmas to a cheeky Mulberry bag.
So, I have picked just a handful of some of my favourite bags to show you.

Jimmy Choo clutch
Mulberry evening bag in suede

This hot pink hand clutch by Jimmy Choo is super cute, it was one of the first of my collection. I love the colour and the dainty size. It's hard case fits perfectly into your hand. However  I have to admit, I haven't used this much as I have so much stuff when I go out I simply cannot fit it in. A great bag to use when you are wearing black as makes it a real statement piece. 
This beautiful Mulberry has been used to death. This was bought by Ian one day when we were out shopping at Selfridges in Manchester. He just appeared with it as a surprise! To say I was chuffed is an under statement. This is such a "goes with everything" bag. Very classy.

Alexander McQueen clutch
This Alexander McQueen clutch was a present to myself that I bought on a whim. A real guilty purchase. I saw it and just fell in love with it and just bought it on the spot. I then had to hide it for a few months before I gradually introduced it. I could then say without any word of a lie, "no it's not new". It is a real Mary Poppins bag. It looks small, but actually holds a huge amount. The sun burst orange colour is just happy. It makes me feel happy and despite being bright, it surprisingly goes with everything.

Jimmy Choo hard clutch
I liked this picture, but in hindsight you can't actually see the bag well at all. It is a melange of green colours in a long, hard case. It is very un-usual and very striking. I have to admit, I haven't actually used it yet, but I am loathed to sell it as it is too pretty:-)

Banana Republic clutch
This banana coloured clutch from Banana Republic is a cheaper version of the Alexander McQueen clutch. It has the same qualities of the orange clutch but in bright yellow, another one of my favourite primary colours. It is just so happy. Banana Republic is quite a new discovery for me. However, I have bought a few chosen pieces from there and it is certainly on my list of favourites at the moment.

So, just a taster of my collection. I could write an entire novel on my bags, but maybe I'll save it for another day. Which is your favourite???

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

My sunny day daisy top-OOTD

...and then the sun came out!!!

It is the first time that we have seen the sun for some time, so when it popped out today I thought I would take full advantage and get a few OOTD shots in.
If you see bags under my eyes, I apologise, it's been a tough night. Scarlett has a terrible cough and it has progressively been getting worse and worse. Last night she woke at 2.30am and we sat and watched Pepper Pig all night. She coughed to the point of vomiting 4 times. As a mother I felt so helpless. We thought we better not take any chances and took her up to Primary Care this morning. So, part of today has been spent in Preston hospital. Luckily, she is OK and has been prescribed antibiotics. So we are all tired and a bit fed up, but that didn't stop me putting on my new Daisy Top by Sugarhill Boutique.
It's 3/4 length sleeves and lace back add a bit of glam to a day top.

I just love the cute girly daisy print, it adds a splash of Spring to the what has been horrendous Winter weather. An "every day top" that I can wear for lunch or just nipping up to school. Sugarhill also have this top in a dress
I teamed this up with Kurt Geiger ankle boots, Mango cropped jeans, necklace by Topshop and earrings from a designer that I cannot remember for the life of me, but from Harvey Nicolas. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Duckie blouse- OOTD

Sugarhill's SS14 range is super cute. This Duckie Blouse is no exception.
It felt almost Spring like today as the sun shone on me and I was able to stand outside sans coat. What better way to celebrate the season than to create The Season of The Duck. Sugarhill Boutique have brought out a collection of duckie influenced pieces this season. They must have anticipated how much rain we were going to have. This blouse is one of my favourite pieces. The style if uniquely Sugarhill. Last season they had a very similar blouse with small birds which I wore to death. This pretty, cream, light weight blouse has 3/4 sleeves finished with gold buttons. The cute ducks are entwined in a love heart shape. The most beautiful part of this top which makes it super quirky is the cross over butterfly back. Very pretty! A fab blouse which can be worn with jeans or dressed up with a pencil skirt.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Are we obsessed with our portable office?

Do you carry your portable office with you at all times? What I mean by portable office is your smart phone, ipad, which ever tablet you choose to use to record your life. Are you constantly tweeting, status updates on Facebook or updating your blog? I know I am. Sometimes I wonder how we ever got by before? It is just too easy now, we are literally able to record every second of our life through a tablet. Sometimes I wonder if we actually have time to live. Every memory is recorded by Instragram, every thought sent through Twitter. Some may argue that this is not how life should be, and although I do agree, for me, it suites my life perfectly. As a mummy to a two year old and running a business I simply don't know how I would do it all without having my portable office in my handbag. As soon as Scarlett falls asleep, I am straight to my tablet, every moment is precious when you have a busy lifestyle and modern technology just makes it so much easier to stay on top of everything.
There is another side to this on hand technology, which is vital and every single mother will know what I'm talking about is imperative when entertaining children. I am sure many mothers will gasp in horror at that comment, but wait until you have a long flight with a small child and you will wish to god that you had made that investment. It is easy to judge, but with so many educational apps, you really cannot turn your nose up at the benefits to teaching children from a young age how to use this type of technology. We have just invested in a small tablet for Scarlett, she is only two years old, but it's great for her. When she's stuck in the car, she can be learning her letters or numbers. It's important to understand how things work as she will need it in later life.
As a blogger I also use my tablet for writing posts. I have a Blogger app which allows me to write there and then, when the moment takes me and I have an idea. The cameras are of amazing quality nowadays so you can not only write your blog, but illustrate it with photos and all of the fab apps that are on offer to really create a great blog.

Whether you're for or against  carrying your office around with you, it cannot be denied that it is an important part of our lifestyle, it's multi functionality make it usable for work, play and pretty much every other time.

My portable Office by Currys 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My top restaurants throughout the world

I am lucky enough to have travelled quite a lot. My background is travelling. My degree was European Business with French and German, followed my 2 years living and working in the South of France. All of my jobs have involved travelling, which has been great. I can't complain about any of it. Now I'm in my thirties and I have Scarlett, the glamour has worn off. Working abroad is now something I dread. Travelling away for work means a child care headache, heart ache missing my princess, constant guilt and a very rushed, stressed trip. Anyway, like I say, I'm not complaining. I have also loved travelling in my free time and even though I haven't visited quite as many countries as I would have liked and still have plenty more on my bucket list, I have been to some amazing places and eaten in some great restaurants. So, as a slightly diverse post to my usual fashion based blogs, I thought that I would share with you some of my favourite eating places.

1. Cabbages and Condoms, Bangkok.

Cabbages and Condoms restaurant is truly one of the most bizarre restaurants I have visited. The restaurant was created to promote the importance of safe sex. This quirky restaurant sees Christmas trees made of condoms, condoms instead of mints at the end of the meal and the gift shop has an array of different condoms. The restaurant itself is warmly lit in a central area in Bangkok. The food, is good, but it is certainly the experience, rather than the food that puts this in my top restaurants.

2. The Larder-Dublin holds a special place in my heart. It is one of the first restaurants that Ian and I ate in together. It is just around the corner from www.the where Ian and I married. We visit it every time we are in Dublin and the staff always remember us. The style is shabby chic. It is an intimate bistro with an ever changing menu. The menu itself is quite diverse and the theme differs every time we visit. The staff really make it. They are so warm and friendly and make you wanting to keep going back again and again.

3.Nobu-Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London

Nobu is certainly one of the "trendiest" places I have ever visited. I took Scarlett there as a baby and met a friend. The food it amazing. It is a Japanese Michelin Star restaurant. I adore Japanese food, so for me it was out of this world. The atmosphere, quite pretentious, not to the point in which you feel un-comfortable, but you certainly know that this was the place to be. In hindsight, not a baby friendly place and we had to carry a pram upstairs, but they didn't make us feel guilty for bringing kids in, which many places do. The price was pretty hefty, not a restaurant you would perhaps visit often, but certainly worth a try.

4. One if by land, two if by sea, New York City Ian and I visited here on his 40th birthday. It was the end of January and New York was experiencing severe snow storms. This quaint, romantic restaurant was just the ticket to warm us up. The room is dark, red, velvet and darkened. The big open fire kept it warm and cosy. We were sat by a full length window with a view of a cute door way totally lost in a mound of snow. The menu was a mixture of meat and fish, I would say something for everyone. I was pregnant at the time, so didn't get to experience the wine list!

5. Korbel, California (
This place isn't really a restaurant, it's a "Californian Champagne" making vineyard, with a great cafe. This is the most relaxing place to chill out. After a bit of wine tasting you can pick from a great, but simple menu in the cafe (we had pulled pork sandwiches) and a 10$ bottle of fizz. Sat in the sun in the beautiful Sanoma countryside is just a heavenly experience.

6.The Beach, The Maldives

OK cheesy picture I know, but I had to add this to the list as memorable meals I have had. This meal on the beach in The Maldives in just candlelight was just perfect. So romantic and relaxing. This was just pre getting pregnant, so un-likely that I will get the chance to do this again (or at least for a long while). This is certainly something I would recommend if you ever get the chance.

7.Sicocco, Lebua Hotel, Bangkok. 

If we are going for WOW factors, this is without a doubt top of the list. This restaurant is on the 60+ floor of the The Lebua hotel. It is without doubt the most pretentious place you can ever visit, but if you're not impressed with the out of this world panoramic view of Bangkok, you can amuse yourself with a bit of people watching. The prices are crazy, but for the experience it is just amazing.

8. Cleaver East, Dublin

This is a place I visited recently. It is attached to The Clarence, which is owned by U2's Bono. The old "Tea Room" restaurant was a bit out dated, so Bono asked the owners of CleaverEast who already had 2 Michelin star restaurants in Dublin to take this over.
The staff are very professional and clearly have a great knowledge of food. The food could almost be described as Tapas. Small taster dishes, which were absolutely delicious! The atmosphere chilled and friendly.

 9. Degusto, Porto

I love this little restaurant in Porto, Portugal. We have visited a few times, but probably the most memorable was on my 30th birthday and the 5th birthday of the restaurant. They had a set menu with appropriate wines. We were also mixed with other couples, which at first was really off putting, but we met a lovely couple who we chatted all night to and they pointed out the best parts of the city to visit. A great wine list and fab service.

10. Le Tire bouchon, Nice is in the old town of Nice. I used to live about two streets away, but at the time didn't have that much spare cash to be eating out. This restaurant is typically French with a slightly arsey waiter, but the food is great and it's in one of my favourite cities and it is a fab spot to sit and people watch with a nice glass of vino.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Duck sweater by Sugarhill Boutique

The Season of the Duck

Anyone who knows Sugarhill Boutique knows that their signature theme is cute animals. We have seen the Fox, the Wolf, the Polar Bear, The Raccoon...pretty much everything. This season fits in perfectly with the wet British Spring time, the Duck.
This very cute long sleeve, grey knitwear has the cutest duck on the front. 
This is a great lightweight Spring sweater that would be great teamed up with jeans, jeggings or leggings, wellies are a must! A great buy at £39

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Dublin-my home from home

If I was a bit quiet last week it was due to the fact I was working in Ireland, Dublin to be precise. I have a few customers over there and I also had a potential to visit.
You may know that Ian and I got married at The Clarence in Dublin, famous for being owned by U2's Bono, 5 years ago. It is obviously a special place for it, so it is great when we have a reason to come back. Unfortunately, Scarlett had to stay home with my mum and dad as we both had meetings. Although, this meant that we were able to go out afterwards and enjoy a bit of the Dublin nightlife and as The Clarence is located at Temple Bar, there was no excuse.

The famous Temple Bar

Me finding something amusing

Dublin, famous for Guinness
Ian looking serious at The Clarence

Our favourite bistro

night cap in the Clarence bar

We also popped into a bar next door after meeting a lovely Brazilian waitress called Louisa. The bar was called The Liquor room. It was very darkly lit and looked like a Burlesque nightclub. The cocktail menu was huge. Cocktails aren't really my thing, but we decided to try their signature cocktail.
Signature cocktail
 It was orange tasting with Bourbon. It wasn't too heavy and dangerously moreish!

excellent bar staff

cheesy picture
We had a fab time there, a bar that I would highly recommend,  but we headed to bed early, no partying on a school night!

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