Thursday, 25 September 2014

90 days.....

and its Christmas Day!...... yes I am talking Christmas!
 The big Yellow store opened its Christmas Hall in August and held its Press Show in July.
 ...I have been in Christmas meetings since Easter and are now on the last 3 months countdown!....
I can already hear my friend Ali screaming at this post as she has a hashtag running on twitter of #keepchristmasindecember ... I wish I could only think about in December, but in retail its all about the next 3 months...  I have already received 2 Christmas brochures in the post, and I imagine that Boots will launch theirs next week.... the reality is that its 3 paydays away!

Santa arrived in his shorts and sunglasses to kick start Christmas...
Over the next 90 days I will share some of amazing Christmas treats of Selfridges during the holiday period.
Christmas is sited on the 4th floor and is phased across themes and colour palletes... there are so many lovely things... I really like this mix of Gold & Silver colourways,  it looks like the paper pompom style decorations will be on trend again this year.... the VM team does a fabulous job of styling.
Love the ice-skates styling.... will definitely be using my vintage skates as a feature for my Christmas at home. One of the most popular themes during the August period is the London range... the tourist market love it and the Selfridges Union Jack is one of the favourites.
 Santa in the Telephone box is proving to be a Selfie favourite.... the pastel range is also a big talking point and gives a completely different feel to Christmas .... really love this, but will not co-ordinate with any of my plans this year!.... yes I already have planned out theme, styling and look!
 Traditional is always a must..... really love this display and covert the chair, hat &personalised santa sack lots! Green & Gold will feature lots during the Christmas countdown...
 So with 90 days to go, I hope that you have enjoyed my start to Christmas, each week I will post a little more of Mr Selfridges Christmas 2014!.... let the countdown begin.

Thursday Fun ~ The F phenomenon

Its that time of the week when I have a little Thursday Fun!... You will need to have been hiding in very large cave in a far remote country to have missed the 2 phenomenon's that have captured young & old girls alike over the past year.... I am of course referring to E.L.James Fifty Shades of Grey and Disney's Frozen!.... both like adult & child crack porn, completely addictable guilty pleasures.
Whether either are your thing, you would have been hard pressed to avoid them if you have children under 10 and girlfriends over 15!...both have merchandise that are already being called out at the Christmas musts....nearly every beauty house has a Grey nail polish for this season and the Frozen castle already have wait lists!
There are multiple Frozen boards on pinterest sitting alongside Fifty boards...
This summer the trailer was released for the film which opens on Valentines day 2015.
 A countdown teaser campaign which was endorsed by Beyoncé prior to release, gained social media momentum and coverage in all national papers....
So was it worth the wait?..... see what you think!

The books will never win any literary awards, but it has got people reading again... everyone has their own opinion on who their Mr Grey should be.... I am quite happy with Jamie Dornan (looking forward to seeing him this autumn in the series 2 of the BBC2 of The Fall.) and looking forward to a fun night out when the film is released..
As with a lot of big film releases, it doesn't take long for spoofs to appear, which is why I love this Fifty Shades of Frozen that appeared within a few days of the trailer premiering!.... I promise that you won't watch Frozen again in the same light!..... and will add much fun when you hear "Let it Go" for the 50th time that day!

I hope that you have enjoyed my little piece of fifty fun for Thursday!.... here's last weeks Thursday fun featuring David Gandy... showcasing his own shades of grey here ...
 pop back next week for some more....

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Totes Amaze Tuesday ~ Back to School

One of my most favourite parts of Autumn starting, is the whole Back to School vibe. During my teens the best part of Back to School was the a new bag and stationery for the start of the Autumn term!.... it's something I don't seem to have outgrown from my teens and still now love a new bag for the autumn. This year is no exception and I have been using this gorgeous Mulberry Del Ray which I picked up in the sale in the summer. It has been languishing in its dust bag until now.
I fell in love with the Del-Ray when it launched because it reminded me so much of my favourite old school bag, with a hefty price tag I just coveted it from afar. However this became affordable in the sale along with my team discount and I just had to have it!...
Inside my Del-Ray, its been mostly filled with my gorgeous Christian Louboutin continental wallet, Mulberry notebook, Moleskine diary, DVF usb key, and Louboutin nail polish in red & black, Laura Mercier lip glaze in Sangria, Ipod, keys (complete with mini del-ray key ring) and an apple!
As with many mulberry bags, it is fully lined with its signature design, silver stamped hardware, padlock and multi storage facilities.
As with all Totes Tuesday posts I have styled my look for this month for work & play;


Work Styling has looked a lot like this: ~ black suit & pussy bow blouse and statement heels.
This bag is so functional for work, but I  have also enjoyed using it casually after work and at weekends.






Play Styling has looked like this ~ cream trousers, black chiffon shirt, black birkenstocks.... perfect for lunchtime treat.













I do think this may be my last Mulberry (I can hear the bank manager rejoicing from afar)... it seems that I have fallen a little out of love with the recent collections.
As with every Totes Tuesday post I would love to hear what's been in your Tote this month and what Handbag are you coveting?

Monday, 22 September 2014

An evening of ABC ....

Authors, Books and Cocktails.... Wednesday night I spent the evening at the Century Club on Shaftsbury avenue at the first Book Club event from All About You  in association with Pan Macmillan with 3 authors that I have enjoyed immensely over the years.
Lucy Diamond, Karen Swan and Jane Green.
I have featured all 3 several times on the blog as they have all written books that have stayed with me after reading. Lucy & Karen I featured on this  Septembers book post... and have blogged about both previously, here is my Christmas reads post. and Jane's Love Verb featured here
The evening kicked off with introductions from Bernadette from AAY and Caroline from Pan Macmillan, and opening questions to the 3 authors. This was followed by the Lucy, Karen & Jane reading extracts from their 3 books, recently published.
Lucy ~ One Night in Italy
Karen ~ The Summer Without You
Jane ~ Saving Grace
All 3 gave great insight into their books and the inspiration to their writing. They said to all would be writers - "write the book that you want to write".  It was much fun, with lots of laughter ... thankyou ladies for your tips & honesty.
After the questions the Ladies moved to the back of the room to book sign and meet the audience. It was lovely talking to all three, as they all have, at some point caused me to miss my stop on the tube on-route to work.
 All 3 have a book that features in my favourites list and I have both a well thumbed copy, and a copy on kindle.  Jane's - Jemima J- one of my go to books in my 20's the fat girl desperately trying to fit into the society she works and win the heart of her best friend. Karen's - Christmas at Tiffany's - Cassie embarks on an amazing journey between London, New York, Paris after heartbreak and with the support of her 3 best friends. Lucy's - The Beach Café - Evie inherits her aunts beach café on the coast of Cornwall and changes her life in the process...
I had a fabulous evening talking to the authors, drinking cocktails and chatting about books.... thankyou all involved. I look forward to the next one... the goodie bag was a lovely little treat.
It was so lovely to see Jane looking so well and rocking not only fabulous hair but also some gorgeous shoes. Jane was diagnosed with malignant melanoma earlier this year and has been talking about on her recent book tour, women's hour and in yesterday's daily mail.  I hope that her recovery continues along with her fabulous writing.
Excited to hear from both Lucy and Karen of Christmas sequels to The Beach Café and Christmas at Tiffany's.... both now on pre-order!. and looking forward to starting Jane's Saving Grace next week x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

T's TV treats....

It's been some time since I shared a TV post of what has been keeping me entertained on the Googlebox!.... happy to say that that's back next week which will bring much fun to a Friday night.
Not much has kept my attention on the TV in recent months. With the weather being nice during the summer it has meant that I have gone out more or taken the opportunity just to spend some down time in the park.
I have however in September, devoured Season 1 and Season 2 of Scandal. Very late to the party with this, but absolutely loving it. Kerry Washington who plays Oliver Pope the lead character I have complete wardrobe envy with.... (it seems so do many other looking at the Pinterest posts)
Having been to Washington and completely fell in love with the whole political vibe, especially the White House, this is a win win for me. If you loved The West Wing and State of Play this is for you... from the creator of Greys Anatomy it has it all, power, thrills, excitement & sexy romance!..

As those of you that read this blog know, I abhor reality TV so Xfactor, Britains got talent and programmes similar are a natural switch off for me.... I am this year, however looking forward to Strictly now that Brucie has hung up his tap shoes!... The Eye-candy line up for us ladies is also an added bonus!
With Autumn TV just beginning to start, I am looking forward to the following.
Downton Abbey - returns for series 5, looking forward to more of Dame Maggie Smith's put me downs, sumptuous setting and hopefully a cameo from the gorgeous George Clooney at Christmas.

Our Girl - a one off drama last year that has now been turned into a series. I really enjoyed this last year Lacey Turner as a young girl from a run-down council estate tries to better her life by joining the army as a medic. This series sees her head to Afghanistan...

The Fall - starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan ( Mr 50 shades himself) back for a 2nd series of this Thriller that spooked the whole of my spring last year.  Jamie Dornan is so easy on the eye, you cannot believe that he is committing such terrible crimes. I hope that it lives up to the 1st series.

Grantchester - Set in 1953 in the Cambridge hamlet of Grantchester  the drama focuses upon the life of Sidney Chambers, a charismatic, charming clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances. Starring James Norton and Robson Green.
What has been keeping your attention on the TV... or what are you looking forward to this Autumn?... would love to hear?... 
   

 

Back to School....

I love September as it is heralds the start of Autumn, which is one of my favourite seasons. It evokes great memories and I love the 'Back to School' vibe... time for planning, new stationery and if lucky a new bag!.... This weeks Totes Tuesday I will share my work bag and styling for September.
I loved getting a new school bag each summer for Back to school and it became a huge adventure. This year I started that adventure with my niece who started 'senior' school this year.

September for me is about learning so I am enjoying reading and journaling my Learn Something New Everyday month with Shimelle. this is the 3rd year that I have participated and although don't share lots I find it fun and though provoking. I have also enjoyed following my blogging friend Caroline who has been busy having a September Sort out and posting her successes on Instagram.
I have become a little stationery obsessed this month, particularly as Selfridges have opened a Hay Mini Market, the first of its kind outside of the Design Festival in Milan... It like a very gorgeous stationery and homeware supermarket, complete with wire baskets and gorgeous product...
Completely in lust with the ruler collection!
My desk has had a colourful overhaul with help from the recent Kate Spade stationery collection at work.... and look forward to adding to it with some of the winter/holiday collection and when I visit New York in December!...
This has been perfect for list compiling and keeping track of my daily journaling for #LSNED and blog posts.
Do you love the back to school feel of September?... if so what do you like?....



Saturday, 20 September 2014

Look what you can get in M&S these days....

if only I could pick this up for lunch everyday!.... Thursday as previously blogged David Gandy launched his underwear line for Autograph at M&S.
M&S went all out on the advertising with full bill boards along the stores windows in Oxford Street, full page editorials in the newspapers, teaser videos and DG himself launching the collection across stores globally. Never has an underwear campaign been so high profile since David Beckham pulled on a pair of tighty wighties for Armani and most recently for his own collection with H&M.
Alas I was unable to join the queue to met him, but I did get to see him as he arrived!.... Oh my!... every delicious adjective chosen to describe this 6ft blue eyed adonis is correct.......

M&S sell over 100,000 pairs of undies a week and with this collaboration it will certainly sustain those numbers, especially as most underwear is purchased by women for men!....I am sure sales in M&S undies sky rocketed on Thursday with this gorgeous man headlining the campaign
With utmost certainty I can endorse that the product is light, comfortable and incredibly comfy to wear, having grabbed the lounge pants and t shirt for myself.............well its the only time I'm getting David Gandy in my bed!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

These are not just any Pants.....

They are David Gandy's pants!..... Bravo M&S for such a fantastic Ad campaign for the new Autograph mens underwear range in collaboration with David Gandy.
Welcome to my first Thursday fun post..... I can't tell you how many of my social media friends sent me links, pictures and messaged me when this campaign launched!
I am a huge DG fan and have been since he appeared on our screens in a pair of white speedos on a speedboat  for Dolce & Gabbana fragrance...
Therefore As you can imagine this has caused much ditziness over the last few days!


It has been a welcome pick me up on my daily commute as M&S and David's Instagram have been counting down the days to launch!....

So with David due in M&S at 12pm today to launch his tighty whiteys ... I may just be missing from my desk for a while!....so if anyone is looking for me around midday I will be having my lunch at Marks & Spencers!....
Oh my!...
 Here is a little teaser campaign if the images have tickled your taste buds!... Enjoy x... Pop back next Thursday for another Thursday fun! X

And here is David talking pants!

thankyou all who sent links etc.... You have given me much fun & joy ..... Looking forward to more Thursday fun next week!.... ����

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Baby bakes & 80's cakes.....

It's been ages since I baked and even longer since I did any cake decorating, but this summer I have dragged my trusty cake tool box out of the cupboard a couple of times to bake for an 80th Birthday and a Baby Shower.
For the Baby shower cake I was sent a picture of the stationery, napkins and tablecloth and asked to make something to fit in with the design. My friend who's shower it was doesn't know the gender of the baby, which for these days is quite unusual and the shower was also a surprise!
I baked a 3 layer lemon madeira, sandwiched with lemon curd and lemon buttercream and then covered with white sugar paste.  The theme was baby clothes on a washing line, and I had this bright idea to do something similar... something I later regretted, as it did give me a sleepless night. After stressing about iced babygro's and miniature pegs I was really happy with the outcome.
I found a fab little baby onesie on the Iced Jems website which was perfect for the cupcakes. I made the buttons from a small round cutter and indenting a button. Really love these, so think they may be featuring on more cakes in the future. With the cake doweled and washing line posts made from straws and bakers twine, it all came together ok. The cake was accompanied by a  mixture of lemon cupcakes - large & small decorated with onesies and buttons - all for Baby Cook.
My other cake made at the end of July was one of the hottest days of the year. Hats off to the bakers that have produced amazing creations during this summer!... thankfully I had wired the flowers on an evening that was a little cooler and had baked the fruitcake a couple of months ago, so all I had to do was ice and decorate.
This was an old school cake, complete with garret frill, flowers and ribbon... took me back to my early cake decorating years. As always, my least favourite part is 'writing' on the cake... thankfully they didn't want an essay and liked the simplicity of the design. My mums best friend was delighted as she had never had a 'proper' birthday cake before!.
I'm now planning future bakes, and with GBBO in full bake on BBC its perfect inspiration to get my baking box out again, especially after meeting the Queen of Bakes - Mary Berry..... Also have a planned visit to the BBC Bake & Cake show... so will hopefully see some of you there...... what have you been baking lately?



Monday, 15 September 2014

Invictus Games ~ Park Life

As previously blogged I have spent some time in the Queen Elizabeth park (formally Olympic park) over the past week at the Invictus Games.  I haven't been to the park since it opened earlier this year after development from the Olympics.
The park now has a road cutting through it and is more accessible from all sides of East London. It  has a fabulous urban city feel, with gorgeous spaces for relaxing, playing and socialising. I hope that this feel remains when the stadium eventually opens and becomes the home of West Ham.
Snaking through the park is the East London canal path and waterway, which is now offering Boat trips, which I will be exploring another day.
The park during the games was marshalled by a host of volunteers and military personnel, the atmosphere was carnival like, enhanced with a huge helter skelter, and water fountains.
Although the atmosphere was relaxed, there was always small reminders as to the military presence who were fantastic throughout.
I thoroughly enjoyed my return to the park and will definitely be going back. My niece and nephew have already swum in the Olympic pool and we are planning another adventure to explore. Here's what is happening at the park and what activities you can do at the pool, velodrome, copper box and more.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Invictus Games ~ Wheelchair Rugby - 2nd half

Sandwiched between the Bronze medal and the Gold medal match at the Invictus Games Wheelchair Rugby was an exhibition game unlike any other.
Exhibition Teams included HRH Prince Harry, Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall, Jason Robinson, and Dame Kelly Holmes. Two teams Invictus and Endeavour tipped against each other, managed and mentored by Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Clive Woodward.
If the crowd had needed any warming-up for the finale then they couldn't have picked any better way.
Harry heading up team Invictus against Mike Tindall's Endeavour.. meant that it was a huge family affair, alongside some of GB's military heroes. The game was much fun, especially seeing the fantastic camaraderie between Harry, Zara and Mike. Harry scored the opening goal of the closely contested game. With Jonny on the side-lines coaching the team I didn't know where to look.
The exhibition game was fun, and just showed what great sports the royals are. At the beginning Harry tried to bribe the referee by slipping them money to much amusement. As Harry scored the first goal, he turned and gave Mike Tindall a taunting handshake. The pair larked around throughout the game, pretending to tip each other out. When Mike scored a goal on his wife, Zara tapped him playfully on the back as he crossed the line, and later when Harry was sent to the box for fouling Denise Lewis, he hung his head in pantomime shame.

Supported on by team managers Johnny Wilkinson and Clive Woodward, both teams were brilliantly enthusiastic. The game was really in keeping with the spirit of what the Invictus games are all about. Culminating with  Harry's team claiming victory.
The game was really in keeping with the spirit of what the Invictus games are all about. Culminating with  Harry's team claiming victory. A fabulous prelude to the Gold medal game which followed.
Had a fabulous evening amongst so many greats completely embracing the essence of the Invictus Games.... Harry should be proud of what he and his teams achieved.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Invictus Games - Wheelchair Rugby - 1st half

After a fabulous evening at the Opening Ceremony for the Invictus Games I headed back to Queen Elizabeth Park on Friday for an evening of Wheelchair Rugby.
After a hectic week at work I was toying with giving this a miss.... I'm so glad I didn't, I had a fabulous evening which culminated in Great Britain winning the Gold in a hard fought contest with the USA.
This was my schedule for the evening:
12 Sep 17:30 - 20:30
  • 5TH/6TH PLACE PLAYOFF - ITALY V NEW ZEALAND 
  • BRONZE MEDAL MATCH - DENMARK V AUSTRALIA 
  • CELEBRITY MATCH - INVICTUS V ENDEAVOR        
  • GOLD MEDAL MATCH - UNITED STATES V UNITED KINGDOM
The Playoff game between Italy & New Zealand introduced me to the rules and pace of the game. Similar rules to rugby, including the 'Sin' bin for naughty players... its frenetic, you soon loose sight of the fact that these competitors are in wheelchairs and just loose yourself in their willingness to win. Also cheering for the players was Prince Harry who was in the sound box, watching all the games.
2nd game was the bronze medal match between Denmark and Australia, which resulted in Denmark taking the Bronze... a tough fort game between the two sides.
Following on from the Bronze medal game was the Exhibition match (separate post to follow) which I had no idea about and was beyond excited when Harry & Jonny Wilkinson appeared!
By this stage the Copper box was full to the rafters and the energy in the arena was amazing which when the GB and USA teams wheeled themselves out for the final, the roof  nearly came off.
The game was heavily contested, the constant clashing of the wheels of the chairs indicated just how much both sides wanted to win this game. The crowd were roaring on their feet routing for GB to take Gold and in the dying minutes, Captain Charlie Walker scored with just 36 seconds remaining to claim a famous 13-12 win.  |Here is a clip of the final minutes.
Here are the celebrations post win, with the whole audience on their feet celebrating complete with the army military.... the medal presentation was complete with Harry's under armour pants!
I had an amazing emotional evening filled with Pride.

Invictus Games - Opening Ceremony

Wednesday evening saw me heading to the Olympic Park now called Queen Elizabeth Park for the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games.  The Opening ceremony was held on the South Lawn of the park.
The games are the inspiration of HRH Prince Harry and are the 'Olympics' for wounded military from across the world. The films running across the stage showcasing some of the athletes participating were inspirational, humbling and emotional... a preview of what the 4 days of competition would be.
The games opened to a fanfare from the British military bands, full of pomp, circumstance  showcasing  why our military is one of the best in the world.
With the Royal Family arriving onto the stage it was time for the games to begin... with a Red Arrows fly past across the East London sky.
Opening highlights for me were Idris Elber riding out to the podium and reading the Invictus poem to all ... The Invictus poem written by William Ernest Henley.
It was now time to welcome the athletes into the arena to loud applause and cheers. This was so emotional, was incredibly proud to be cheering and clapping these heroes into their stage.
It was given to Michelle Obama (via VL) to introduce Prince Harry to the stage and thank him on behalf of the countries represented for the Invictus Games.
 
Here's Harry's speech.

With the games declared opened....courtesy of Harry and a gun salute from the Queens horses and lots of ticker tape....it was time to head home, emotional but so proud to have been a part of such a humbling, inspiring evening.

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Queen of Bakes....

Last week I got the chance to meet the Queen of Bakes herself - Mary Berry. The grandmother who has crept into our hearts through 4 seasons of Great British Bake Off with her twinkling eyes, and floral bomber jackets. In person she is as delightful as she comes across on the television.
Dressed in her signature look of floral jacket, she was immaculately styled and was delightful. With the queue snaking around the culinary fixtures of the lower ground cookshop department, it was the perfect opportunity to browse whilst waiting!...
loved the pistachio kitchen aid mixer and the tula vintage accessories. Really liking the kitchen-aid bakeware which is heavy duty craftsmanship and first time available outside the USA. It's not cheap but a great baking investment and it will save on contributing to a 'heavy' label on my luggage allowance when coming back from New York!

Mary was in to launch her new book - Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect.....
I got a sneak peak of the book prior to launch, and loved it, perfect for the novice and the experienced baker, filed with gorgeous recipes from simple lunches to feasts for dining with friends & family. The recipes are simple to follow and the visuals are stunning.
This is a gorgeous book a perfect gift which will span generations and decades... if you have a loved one heading off to university then this is a perfect going away present, if you are a GBBO fan its a must for the collection or if you are just a Mary Berry fan then this is a fabulous addition to the bookshelf. This was my 2nd time meeting Mary and getting one of her books signed, and ever she was gracious and delightful.....

Thursday, 25 September 2014

90 days.....

and its Christmas Day!...... yes I am talking Christmas!
 The big Yellow store opened its Christmas Hall in August and held its Press Show in July.
 ...I have been in Christmas meetings since Easter and are now on the last 3 months countdown!....
I can already hear my friend Ali screaming at this post as she has a hashtag running on twitter of #keepchristmasindecember ... I wish I could only think about in December, but in retail its all about the next 3 months...  I have already received 2 Christmas brochures in the post, and I imagine that Boots will launch theirs next week.... the reality is that its 3 paydays away!

Santa arrived in his shorts and sunglasses to kick start Christmas...
Over the next 90 days I will share some of amazing Christmas treats of Selfridges during the holiday period.
Christmas is sited on the 4th floor and is phased across themes and colour palletes... there are so many lovely things... I really like this mix of Gold & Silver colourways,  it looks like the paper pompom style decorations will be on trend again this year.... the VM team does a fabulous job of styling.
Love the ice-skates styling.... will definitely be using my vintage skates as a feature for my Christmas at home. One of the most popular themes during the August period is the London range... the tourist market love it and the Selfridges Union Jack is one of the favourites.
 Santa in the Telephone box is proving to be a Selfie favourite.... the pastel range is also a big talking point and gives a completely different feel to Christmas .... really love this, but will not co-ordinate with any of my plans this year!.... yes I already have planned out theme, styling and look!
 Traditional is always a must..... really love this display and covert the chair, hat &personalised santa sack lots! Green & Gold will feature lots during the Christmas countdown...
 So with 90 days to go, I hope that you have enjoyed my start to Christmas, each week I will post a little more of Mr Selfridges Christmas 2014!.... let the countdown begin.

Thursday Fun ~ The F phenomenon

Its that time of the week when I have a little Thursday Fun!... You will need to have been hiding in very large cave in a far remote country to have missed the 2 phenomenon's that have captured young & old girls alike over the past year.... I am of course referring to E.L.James Fifty Shades of Grey and Disney's Frozen!.... both like adult & child crack porn, completely addictable guilty pleasures.
Whether either are your thing, you would have been hard pressed to avoid them if you have children under 10 and girlfriends over 15!...both have merchandise that are already being called out at the Christmas musts....nearly every beauty house has a Grey nail polish for this season and the Frozen castle already have wait lists!
There are multiple Frozen boards on pinterest sitting alongside Fifty boards...
This summer the trailer was released for the film which opens on Valentines day 2015.
 A countdown teaser campaign which was endorsed by Beyoncé prior to release, gained social media momentum and coverage in all national papers....
So was it worth the wait?..... see what you think!

The books will never win any literary awards, but it has got people reading again... everyone has their own opinion on who their Mr Grey should be.... I am quite happy with Jamie Dornan (looking forward to seeing him this autumn in the series 2 of the BBC2 of The Fall.) and looking forward to a fun night out when the film is released..
As with a lot of big film releases, it doesn't take long for spoofs to appear, which is why I love this Fifty Shades of Frozen that appeared within a few days of the trailer premiering!.... I promise that you won't watch Frozen again in the same light!..... and will add much fun when you hear "Let it Go" for the 50th time that day!

I hope that you have enjoyed my little piece of fifty fun for Thursday!.... here's last weeks Thursday fun featuring David Gandy... showcasing his own shades of grey here ...
 pop back next week for some more....

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Totes Amaze Tuesday ~ Back to School

One of my most favourite parts of Autumn starting, is the whole Back to School vibe. During my teens the best part of Back to School was the a new bag and stationery for the start of the Autumn term!.... it's something I don't seem to have outgrown from my teens and still now love a new bag for the autumn. This year is no exception and I have been using this gorgeous Mulberry Del Ray which I picked up in the sale in the summer. It has been languishing in its dust bag until now.
I fell in love with the Del-Ray when it launched because it reminded me so much of my favourite old school bag, with a hefty price tag I just coveted it from afar. However this became affordable in the sale along with my team discount and I just had to have it!...
Inside my Del-Ray, its been mostly filled with my gorgeous Christian Louboutin continental wallet, Mulberry notebook, Moleskine diary, DVF usb key, and Louboutin nail polish in red & black, Laura Mercier lip glaze in Sangria, Ipod, keys (complete with mini del-ray key ring) and an apple!
As with many mulberry bags, it is fully lined with its signature design, silver stamped hardware, padlock and multi storage facilities.
As with all Totes Tuesday posts I have styled my look for this month for work & play;


Work Styling has looked a lot like this: ~ black suit & pussy bow blouse and statement heels.
This bag is so functional for work, but I  have also enjoyed using it casually after work and at weekends.






Play Styling has looked like this ~ cream trousers, black chiffon shirt, black birkenstocks.... perfect for lunchtime treat.













I do think this may be my last Mulberry (I can hear the bank manager rejoicing from afar)... it seems that I have fallen a little out of love with the recent collections.
As with every Totes Tuesday post I would love to hear what's been in your Tote this month and what Handbag are you coveting?

Monday, 22 September 2014

An evening of ABC ....

Authors, Books and Cocktails.... Wednesday night I spent the evening at the Century Club on Shaftsbury avenue at the first Book Club event from All About You  in association with Pan Macmillan with 3 authors that I have enjoyed immensely over the years.
Lucy Diamond, Karen Swan and Jane Green.
I have featured all 3 several times on the blog as they have all written books that have stayed with me after reading. Lucy & Karen I featured on this  Septembers book post... and have blogged about both previously, here is my Christmas reads post. and Jane's Love Verb featured here
The evening kicked off with introductions from Bernadette from AAY and Caroline from Pan Macmillan, and opening questions to the 3 authors. This was followed by the Lucy, Karen & Jane reading extracts from their 3 books, recently published.
Lucy ~ One Night in Italy
Karen ~ The Summer Without You
Jane ~ Saving Grace
All 3 gave great insight into their books and the inspiration to their writing. They said to all would be writers - "write the book that you want to write".  It was much fun, with lots of laughter ... thankyou ladies for your tips & honesty.
After the questions the Ladies moved to the back of the room to book sign and meet the audience. It was lovely talking to all three, as they all have, at some point caused me to miss my stop on the tube on-route to work.
 All 3 have a book that features in my favourites list and I have both a well thumbed copy, and a copy on kindle.  Jane's - Jemima J- one of my go to books in my 20's the fat girl desperately trying to fit into the society she works and win the heart of her best friend. Karen's - Christmas at Tiffany's - Cassie embarks on an amazing journey between London, New York, Paris after heartbreak and with the support of her 3 best friends. Lucy's - The Beach Café - Evie inherits her aunts beach café on the coast of Cornwall and changes her life in the process...
I had a fabulous evening talking to the authors, drinking cocktails and chatting about books.... thankyou all involved. I look forward to the next one... the goodie bag was a lovely little treat.
It was so lovely to see Jane looking so well and rocking not only fabulous hair but also some gorgeous shoes. Jane was diagnosed with malignant melanoma earlier this year and has been talking about on her recent book tour, women's hour and in yesterday's daily mail.  I hope that her recovery continues along with her fabulous writing.
Excited to hear from both Lucy and Karen of Christmas sequels to The Beach Café and Christmas at Tiffany's.... both now on pre-order!. and looking forward to starting Jane's Saving Grace next week x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

T's TV treats....

It's been some time since I shared a TV post of what has been keeping me entertained on the Googlebox!.... happy to say that that's back next week which will bring much fun to a Friday night.
Not much has kept my attention on the TV in recent months. With the weather being nice during the summer it has meant that I have gone out more or taken the opportunity just to spend some down time in the park.
I have however in September, devoured Season 1 and Season 2 of Scandal. Very late to the party with this, but absolutely loving it. Kerry Washington who plays Oliver Pope the lead character I have complete wardrobe envy with.... (it seems so do many other looking at the Pinterest posts)
Having been to Washington and completely fell in love with the whole political vibe, especially the White House, this is a win win for me. If you loved The West Wing and State of Play this is for you... from the creator of Greys Anatomy it has it all, power, thrills, excitement & sexy romance!..

As those of you that read this blog know, I abhor reality TV so Xfactor, Britains got talent and programmes similar are a natural switch off for me.... I am this year, however looking forward to Strictly now that Brucie has hung up his tap shoes!... The Eye-candy line up for us ladies is also an added bonus!
With Autumn TV just beginning to start, I am looking forward to the following.
Downton Abbey - returns for series 5, looking forward to more of Dame Maggie Smith's put me downs, sumptuous setting and hopefully a cameo from the gorgeous George Clooney at Christmas.

Our Girl - a one off drama last year that has now been turned into a series. I really enjoyed this last year Lacey Turner as a young girl from a run-down council estate tries to better her life by joining the army as a medic. This series sees her head to Afghanistan...

The Fall - starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan ( Mr 50 shades himself) back for a 2nd series of this Thriller that spooked the whole of my spring last year.  Jamie Dornan is so easy on the eye, you cannot believe that he is committing such terrible crimes. I hope that it lives up to the 1st series.

Grantchester - Set in 1953 in the Cambridge hamlet of Grantchester  the drama focuses upon the life of Sidney Chambers, a charismatic, charming clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances. Starring James Norton and Robson Green.
What has been keeping your attention on the TV... or what are you looking forward to this Autumn?... would love to hear?... 
   

 

Back to School....

I love September as it is heralds the start of Autumn, which is one of my favourite seasons. It evokes great memories and I love the 'Back to School' vibe... time for planning, new stationery and if lucky a new bag!.... This weeks Totes Tuesday I will share my work bag and styling for September.
I loved getting a new school bag each summer for Back to school and it became a huge adventure. This year I started that adventure with my niece who started 'senior' school this year.

September for me is about learning so I am enjoying reading and journaling my Learn Something New Everyday month with Shimelle. this is the 3rd year that I have participated and although don't share lots I find it fun and though provoking. I have also enjoyed following my blogging friend Caroline who has been busy having a September Sort out and posting her successes on Instagram.
I have become a little stationery obsessed this month, particularly as Selfridges have opened a Hay Mini Market, the first of its kind outside of the Design Festival in Milan... It like a very gorgeous stationery and homeware supermarket, complete with wire baskets and gorgeous product...
Completely in lust with the ruler collection!
My desk has had a colourful overhaul with help from the recent Kate Spade stationery collection at work.... and look forward to adding to it with some of the winter/holiday collection and when I visit New York in December!...
This has been perfect for list compiling and keeping track of my daily journaling for #LSNED and blog posts.
Do you love the back to school feel of September?... if so what do you like?....



Saturday, 20 September 2014

Look what you can get in M&S these days....

if only I could pick this up for lunch everyday!.... Thursday as previously blogged David Gandy launched his underwear line for Autograph at M&S.
M&S went all out on the advertising with full bill boards along the stores windows in Oxford Street, full page editorials in the newspapers, teaser videos and DG himself launching the collection across stores globally. Never has an underwear campaign been so high profile since David Beckham pulled on a pair of tighty wighties for Armani and most recently for his own collection with H&M.
Alas I was unable to join the queue to met him, but I did get to see him as he arrived!.... Oh my!... every delicious adjective chosen to describe this 6ft blue eyed adonis is correct.......

M&S sell over 100,000 pairs of undies a week and with this collaboration it will certainly sustain those numbers, especially as most underwear is purchased by women for men!....I am sure sales in M&S undies sky rocketed on Thursday with this gorgeous man headlining the campaign
With utmost certainty I can endorse that the product is light, comfortable and incredibly comfy to wear, having grabbed the lounge pants and t shirt for myself.............well its the only time I'm getting David Gandy in my bed!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

These are not just any Pants.....

They are David Gandy's pants!..... Bravo M&S for such a fantastic Ad campaign for the new Autograph mens underwear range in collaboration with David Gandy.
Welcome to my first Thursday fun post..... I can't tell you how many of my social media friends sent me links, pictures and messaged me when this campaign launched!
I am a huge DG fan and have been since he appeared on our screens in a pair of white speedos on a speedboat  for Dolce & Gabbana fragrance...
Therefore As you can imagine this has caused much ditziness over the last few days!


It has been a welcome pick me up on my daily commute as M&S and David's Instagram have been counting down the days to launch!....

So with David due in M&S at 12pm today to launch his tighty whiteys ... I may just be missing from my desk for a while!....so if anyone is looking for me around midday I will be having my lunch at Marks & Spencers!....
Oh my!...
 Here is a little teaser campaign if the images have tickled your taste buds!... Enjoy x... Pop back next Thursday for another Thursday fun! X

And here is David talking pants!

thankyou all who sent links etc.... You have given me much fun & joy ..... Looking forward to more Thursday fun next week!.... ����

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Baby bakes & 80's cakes.....

It's been ages since I baked and even longer since I did any cake decorating, but this summer I have dragged my trusty cake tool box out of the cupboard a couple of times to bake for an 80th Birthday and a Baby Shower.
For the Baby shower cake I was sent a picture of the stationery, napkins and tablecloth and asked to make something to fit in with the design. My friend who's shower it was doesn't know the gender of the baby, which for these days is quite unusual and the shower was also a surprise!
I baked a 3 layer lemon madeira, sandwiched with lemon curd and lemon buttercream and then covered with white sugar paste.  The theme was baby clothes on a washing line, and I had this bright idea to do something similar... something I later regretted, as it did give me a sleepless night. After stressing about iced babygro's and miniature pegs I was really happy with the outcome.
I found a fab little baby onesie on the Iced Jems website which was perfect for the cupcakes. I made the buttons from a small round cutter and indenting a button. Really love these, so think they may be featuring on more cakes in the future. With the cake doweled and washing line posts made from straws and bakers twine, it all came together ok. The cake was accompanied by a  mixture of lemon cupcakes - large & small decorated with onesies and buttons - all for Baby Cook.
My other cake made at the end of July was one of the hottest days of the year. Hats off to the bakers that have produced amazing creations during this summer!... thankfully I had wired the flowers on an evening that was a little cooler and had baked the fruitcake a couple of months ago, so all I had to do was ice and decorate.
This was an old school cake, complete with garret frill, flowers and ribbon... took me back to my early cake decorating years. As always, my least favourite part is 'writing' on the cake... thankfully they didn't want an essay and liked the simplicity of the design. My mums best friend was delighted as she had never had a 'proper' birthday cake before!.
I'm now planning future bakes, and with GBBO in full bake on BBC its perfect inspiration to get my baking box out again, especially after meeting the Queen of Bakes - Mary Berry..... Also have a planned visit to the BBC Bake & Cake show... so will hopefully see some of you there...... what have you been baking lately?



Monday, 15 September 2014

Invictus Games ~ Park Life

As previously blogged I have spent some time in the Queen Elizabeth park (formally Olympic park) over the past week at the Invictus Games.  I haven't been to the park since it opened earlier this year after development from the Olympics.
The park now has a road cutting through it and is more accessible from all sides of East London. It  has a fabulous urban city feel, with gorgeous spaces for relaxing, playing and socialising. I hope that this feel remains when the stadium eventually opens and becomes the home of West Ham.
Snaking through the park is the East London canal path and waterway, which is now offering Boat trips, which I will be exploring another day.
The park during the games was marshalled by a host of volunteers and military personnel, the atmosphere was carnival like, enhanced with a huge helter skelter, and water fountains.
Although the atmosphere was relaxed, there was always small reminders as to the military presence who were fantastic throughout.
I thoroughly enjoyed my return to the park and will definitely be going back. My niece and nephew have already swum in the Olympic pool and we are planning another adventure to explore. Here's what is happening at the park and what activities you can do at the pool, velodrome, copper box and more.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Invictus Games ~ Wheelchair Rugby - 2nd half

Sandwiched between the Bronze medal and the Gold medal match at the Invictus Games Wheelchair Rugby was an exhibition game unlike any other.
Exhibition Teams included HRH Prince Harry, Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall, Jason Robinson, and Dame Kelly Holmes. Two teams Invictus and Endeavour tipped against each other, managed and mentored by Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Clive Woodward.
If the crowd had needed any warming-up for the finale then they couldn't have picked any better way.
Harry heading up team Invictus against Mike Tindall's Endeavour.. meant that it was a huge family affair, alongside some of GB's military heroes. The game was much fun, especially seeing the fantastic camaraderie between Harry, Zara and Mike. Harry scored the opening goal of the closely contested game. With Jonny on the side-lines coaching the team I didn't know where to look.
The exhibition game was fun, and just showed what great sports the royals are. At the beginning Harry tried to bribe the referee by slipping them money to much amusement. As Harry scored the first goal, he turned and gave Mike Tindall a taunting handshake. The pair larked around throughout the game, pretending to tip each other out. When Mike scored a goal on his wife, Zara tapped him playfully on the back as he crossed the line, and later when Harry was sent to the box for fouling Denise Lewis, he hung his head in pantomime shame.

Supported on by team managers Johnny Wilkinson and Clive Woodward, both teams were brilliantly enthusiastic. The game was really in keeping with the spirit of what the Invictus games are all about. Culminating with  Harry's team claiming victory.
The game was really in keeping with the spirit of what the Invictus games are all about. Culminating with  Harry's team claiming victory. A fabulous prelude to the Gold medal game which followed.
Had a fabulous evening amongst so many greats completely embracing the essence of the Invictus Games.... Harry should be proud of what he and his teams achieved.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Invictus Games - Wheelchair Rugby - 1st half

After a fabulous evening at the Opening Ceremony for the Invictus Games I headed back to Queen Elizabeth Park on Friday for an evening of Wheelchair Rugby.
After a hectic week at work I was toying with giving this a miss.... I'm so glad I didn't, I had a fabulous evening which culminated in Great Britain winning the Gold in a hard fought contest with the USA.
This was my schedule for the evening:
12 Sep 17:30 - 20:30
  • 5TH/6TH PLACE PLAYOFF - ITALY V NEW ZEALAND 
  • BRONZE MEDAL MATCH - DENMARK V AUSTRALIA 
  • CELEBRITY MATCH - INVICTUS V ENDEAVOR        
  • GOLD MEDAL MATCH - UNITED STATES V UNITED KINGDOM
The Playoff game between Italy & New Zealand introduced me to the rules and pace of the game. Similar rules to rugby, including the 'Sin' bin for naughty players... its frenetic, you soon loose sight of the fact that these competitors are in wheelchairs and just loose yourself in their willingness to win. Also cheering for the players was Prince Harry who was in the sound box, watching all the games.
2nd game was the bronze medal match between Denmark and Australia, which resulted in Denmark taking the Bronze... a tough fort game between the two sides.
Following on from the Bronze medal game was the Exhibition match (separate post to follow) which I had no idea about and was beyond excited when Harry & Jonny Wilkinson appeared!
By this stage the Copper box was full to the rafters and the energy in the arena was amazing which when the GB and USA teams wheeled themselves out for the final, the roof  nearly came off.
The game was heavily contested, the constant clashing of the wheels of the chairs indicated just how much both sides wanted to win this game. The crowd were roaring on their feet routing for GB to take Gold and in the dying minutes, Captain Charlie Walker scored with just 36 seconds remaining to claim a famous 13-12 win.  |Here is a clip of the final minutes.
Here are the celebrations post win, with the whole audience on their feet celebrating complete with the army military.... the medal presentation was complete with Harry's under armour pants!
I had an amazing emotional evening filled with Pride.

Invictus Games - Opening Ceremony

Wednesday evening saw me heading to the Olympic Park now called Queen Elizabeth Park for the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games.  The Opening ceremony was held on the South Lawn of the park.
The games are the inspiration of HRH Prince Harry and are the 'Olympics' for wounded military from across the world. The films running across the stage showcasing some of the athletes participating were inspirational, humbling and emotional... a preview of what the 4 days of competition would be.
The games opened to a fanfare from the British military bands, full of pomp, circumstance  showcasing  why our military is one of the best in the world.
With the Royal Family arriving onto the stage it was time for the games to begin... with a Red Arrows fly past across the East London sky.
Opening highlights for me were Idris Elber riding out to the podium and reading the Invictus poem to all ... The Invictus poem written by William Ernest Henley.
It was now time to welcome the athletes into the arena to loud applause and cheers. This was so emotional, was incredibly proud to be cheering and clapping these heroes into their stage.
It was given to Michelle Obama (via VL) to introduce Prince Harry to the stage and thank him on behalf of the countries represented for the Invictus Games.
 
Here's Harry's speech.

With the games declared opened....courtesy of Harry and a gun salute from the Queens horses and lots of ticker tape....it was time to head home, emotional but so proud to have been a part of such a humbling, inspiring evening.

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Queen of Bakes....

Last week I got the chance to meet the Queen of Bakes herself - Mary Berry. The grandmother who has crept into our hearts through 4 seasons of Great British Bake Off with her twinkling eyes, and floral bomber jackets. In person she is as delightful as she comes across on the television.
Dressed in her signature look of floral jacket, she was immaculately styled and was delightful. With the queue snaking around the culinary fixtures of the lower ground cookshop department, it was the perfect opportunity to browse whilst waiting!...
loved the pistachio kitchen aid mixer and the tula vintage accessories. Really liking the kitchen-aid bakeware which is heavy duty craftsmanship and first time available outside the USA. It's not cheap but a great baking investment and it will save on contributing to a 'heavy' label on my luggage allowance when coming back from New York!

Mary was in to launch her new book - Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect.....
I got a sneak peak of the book prior to launch, and loved it, perfect for the novice and the experienced baker, filed with gorgeous recipes from simple lunches to feasts for dining with friends & family. The recipes are simple to follow and the visuals are stunning.
This is a gorgeous book a perfect gift which will span generations and decades... if you have a loved one heading off to university then this is a perfect going away present, if you are a GBBO fan its a must for the collection or if you are just a Mary Berry fan then this is a fabulous addition to the bookshelf. This was my 2nd time meeting Mary and getting one of her books signed, and ever she was gracious and delightful.....