Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday indulgence...

A Sunday indulgence day for me would  usually include a roast dinner, nanny nap on the sofa, a good book /box set and Sunday night TV.... I am a little excited to type that this Sundays indulgence day will have all those attributes but in more glamorous surroundings than T's terrace.
Way back in February I booked tickets for Tony Hadley's one night in London compete with orchestra, for myself and a friend as a birthday treat. It then got me thinking how lovely it would be not to rush home on a Sunday night from London and could we stay over and that I could go to work from there....all a good plan!
Well the plan has changed as yes we are staying over and this afternoon will be booking into the Savoy for the night!.... Day off has been booked tomorrow, as I am not relinquishing any of the 12pm checkout time in this gorgeous establishment in order to go to work! ... so looking forward to spending a night in this gorgeous 125 year old establishment.....
So I will have a lazy afternoon in sumptuous surroundings, followed by dinner in Simpsons on the Strand. This will be followed by entertainment from Mr Hadley at the Theatre Royal, with an evening nightcap in the American/ Beaufort Bar. Leisurely breakfast tomorrow before heading home....pop back later in week when I will share my stay at the Savoy, or follow me on Instagram where I am sure to be posting pics over the weekend.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

10 weeks today...

and it will be Christmas Day!.... working in retail Christmas is planned a year in advance, but there is always a ripple of excitement when I exit Bond street station and see that the Christmas wraps have gone up around the legendary big yellow store windows. This means that the final countdown has begun and that Christmas will land across all floors within the store over the week, culminating with the big window reveal.
This years Christmas has a story book feel with the windows being the front cover to the Selfridges story... filled with wonder, excitement, fairy-tale legends and some special guests!.... pop back over the coming weeks for a sneak peak into the Enchanted Christmas on 400 Oxford Street.
 
With the Christmas shop opening in the summer, last week it was time to launch Christmas within the Foodhall, complete with a new signature brand range.
The foodhall is now festooned with signature yellow, green and gold decorations, foliage swags dripping with baubles and 8ft trees embellished with large crackers. Large pulled crackers spill out from the ceiling, over the signature tables which are plump with puddings, mince pies, panettone, florentines and gingerbread. I saw some of these product way back in July and the press show and completely fell in love with it.....Favourites include the jar of Gingerbread boys & girls, the giant Mr Selfridge gingerbread. The mince pies are amazing along with the florentines; flavours including chocolate orange and salted chocolate caramel and the golden mini Christmas puddings are decadent and delicious... I'm sure Mr Selfridge would have loved them all......check out some of the range here....
......lots of these will be falling in stockings and gift boxes this year...a little slice of yellow in world of green & gold.... gorgeously delicious... it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Words ~ October

This month Kindle and I have had an adventure whist commuting home from work (more of which I will share late in the post. I have also read 5 books which have kept me entertained as I travel through the tunnels of the London tube.
This months reads;
  • The Vineyard ~ Karen Aldous - Lizzie has created a life in Cannes with her small boy and successful beauty business. Estranged from her mother for several years she heads home to find that things have changes and moved on in her absence. Here Lizzie meets Cal who is leasing land from her mother to grow a Vineyard.  I enjoyed this book, but it took some time for me to like Lizzie, the book also deals with some difficult subjects and fluctuates between 2 styles of writing which took some time for me to get used to. However that aside I enjoyed the story and characters and it was nice to escape to the glamour of the South of France for a while.
  • Sealed with a Kiss ~ Rachel Lucas - Kate is dumped on her best friend's wedding day by the world's most boring boyfriend, Ian. She is more upset at being jobless & homeless on the back of the break-up and finds herself taking a job on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor as an all-round Girl Friday. She is not known for her organisational skills and has a disastrous first meeting with her grouchy boss Laird of the Island - Roddy. However Kate finds herself falling in love with the island and its inhabitants. I loved this book from the start, and I along with Kate fell in love with the island of Auchenmor... I even googled highland island getaway's for next year. A fabulous first book, perfect for curling up on the sofa with a large mug of chocolate ~ delicious
  • Love Like the Movies ~ Victoria Van Tiem - Kenzi has her life all scripted, fiancé Bradley, successful career, home & kids all planned until Kenzi's ex and the boy who broke her heart enters stage left. Shane embarks on a journey to win Kenzi back by re-enacting all the rom-com movies that they used to watch together. He's just a guy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to trust him again!...this book is a must for any rom-com movie fan, perfect for an afternoon on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn and a soda. I loved it and are now working my way through some movie favourites.
  • Gone Girl ~ Gillian Flynn - late to the party on this book and have very mixed views. Amy & Nick have been married for 5 years when she disappears, this starts a huge investigation, with the biggest question being asked has he killed her?... her diary alludes to a marriage that is not what it seems. With huge twists and turns, this book absolutely keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you turning pages. This book had be completely gripped until the end when it turned completely and now I hate it. I absolutely loath the ending and wish I hadn't read it as I feel like its a waste of time. With how successful this book has been and the noise behind the film I am in the minority, but just feel cheated.

  • Pieces of You - Ella Harper - Lucy & Luke are soul mates and have the perfect marriage, after eight long, heart-breaking years trying to have a baby, that perfect marriage is crumbling before their eyes.When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted.  - I loved this book, it's a heart wrenching story which will make you ask yourself so many questions. Written under the new pen name of Ella Harper this is a huge departure from Sasha Wagstaffs normal writing, immensely enjoyable, it explores family ties, secrets and heart-ache.... my only advice is to make sure that you have a hankie handy when you read it.. you will need it. - Ella's book was also the reason for my tube adventure this month!
I was so engrossed in reading Ella's Pieces of You standing on the platform at Bond street station commuting home Friday evening, that I completely didn't see the girl rushing towards me to board the oncoming central line tube. As she barrelled into me my Kindle hurtled into the air into the path of the oncoming tube.
As I waited for the tube to leave the platform, and to witness the fate of my kindle I envisaged looking down on the tracks and seeing a  broken little tablet. To my delight my kindle was hanging precariously on the edge of a ledge, still on the page I had been reading!. The team at Bond street were fabulous and due to it being a security/safety risk to leave it there, they chose to stop the trains and rescue my Kindle from the track..... so huge apologies if you were on a delayed Central line Friday evening during rush hour, it was all my kindle & Ella's fault!
As you can see I've read a an eclectic mix this month and enjoyed most of them. Here are my previous Wednesday words posts of books read this year.
 Look forward to sharing my reads next month...what have you been reading? did you love it or did it not live up to expectation?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

You can take the girl out of the 80's...

but not the 80's out of the girl!... this week I have had acute moments of being 44 going on 14!.... and have spent moments of the week regressing to 1984 at regular intervals. Looking at what I have planned this weekend this is likely to continue into next week, as I am off to see Tony Hadley on Sunday..
Way back in February I received notification of Tony Hadley's planned tour dates for the autumn. As a huge TH & Spandau Ballet fan I jumped at the chance to see him with a full orchestra.

I had seen Tony last year at the Royal Albert Hall and he was fabulous, so I knew it would be a great show...and booked tickets, for the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. ( Here's my post from last year.)
I never thought way back in February that I would also be seeing Spandau Ballet on stage in the same month, as there had been no talk of another reconciliation since the reformation tour of 2009.
 Earlier this month I attended the Movie Premiere of Soul Boys of the Western World at the Royal Albert Hall and loved it. I tweeted my blog post and was thrilled to receive the attached from Gary in response.


With such a fantastic response to the event and movie it was no surprise that the Ballet boys announced a tour this week for early next year. Monday morning  8am was spent on ipad securing tickets for next March... perfect school reunion night planned with the girls!
 I have loved watching the guys PR the movie and album on TV shows over the past couple of weeks. Here's one of my favourites from This morning on Monday.
My Spandau Ballet moments continued, when shortly after the This Morning programmed aired I nearly bumped into Martin in Selfridges. I was coming down the escalator to go to the foodhall to grab some lunch and he literally was in front of me!... The shy 14 year old reared its ugly head and I regressed completely!... made my afternoon when I received this.
Sometimes its the little things that bring the biggest smiles!... thanks Tony, Martin, Gary, Steve & John for bringing much joy to my October!.... looking forward to seeing Tony on Sunday and the Band in March... but before then I have an ITV Special to watch.... Pure Gold!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Home of the Bard....

Before Summer faded and Autumn arrived I spent a beautiful Sunday morning on the South bank exploring some of the London's historic landmarks. The first being the home the theatrical London home of Shakespeare, The Globe.
This was my first trip since I was at school and appreciated it much more. Its a gorgeous building now in its 3rd build as its been a victim of fire on a couple of occasions, now restored its a great venue steeped in history.
 As well as being able to tour the stage and seating area of the Globe, you also get the opportunity to see some of the artefacts and gorgeous costumes from some of the theatre classics. I had a great time exploring this iconic building....
Here's some other Shakespeare related posts from previous adventures in London and New York.
This month my friend Ali McNamara release's her 5th novel and 3rd in her "From Notting Hill" series. This one will feature The Globe theatre which I am looking forward to immensely along with New York.... I know what I will be reading later this month!... Looking forward to catching up with Scarlett & co....Here's my From Notting hill to New York actually adventures...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

An evening at Memphis...

As a huge fan of musical theatre I jumped at the chance to grab preview tickets for the new West End show Memphis. Memphis has been a huge Broadway triumph and US national hit, it has now crossed the Pond and is in preview at the Shaftsbury Theatre.
Memphis is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.
The synopsis of the musical is of the underground club scene of the 1950's Memphis Tennessee, where blues, gospel and the first sounds of rock 'n' roll were part of the black culture. Falling in love with a beautiful club singer, one young man’s vision to bring her voice and her music out of the clubs and onto the airwaves of America flew in the face of cultural divides and sparked a music revolution that shook the world."
Here is the show launch at Ronnie Scott's this summer...
          
        
The musical stars Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly, and they are both phenomenal.
Here is Killian Donnelly singing Memphis in me, which is stunning.


Friday was the 2nd show in its preview run into its London premiere of the 23rd October and at the end all of the audience was on their feet, standing ovation all round.  A new hit has been born in the West End of London. This show is a must see for this season, and I would thoroughly recommend it as a great night out. A fabulous show, which deals with a subject that to my generation is unimaginable but was so real back in the 50's ... Music being a medium that started to break down the race barriers.
I tweeted how much I had enjoyed the show and I got this tweet back from Beverley on Saturday morning.

Afternoon Tea ~ Mr Selfridge style

Last Friday I took 2 special older ladies for a spot of afternoon tea Mr Selfridge style followed by an evening at the theatre.
Tea was hosted in the beautiful Corner restaurant at Selfridges.
The Corner is a restaurant situated on the 2nd floor tucked in the corner overlooking Oxford Street. It has an old school art deco glamour feel about it, and is perfect for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Menu for tea includes:
  • Freshly prepared finger sandwiches: Egg and mustard cress, Coronation chicken, Cucumber and cream cheese.
  • Pulled salt beef, potato bread and sauce gribiche, Rye and pumpernickel crisp bread, whipped  goats cheese and beetroot and Smoked salmon blini, lobster and caper mayonnaise.
  • Freshly baked scone topped with Cornish clotted cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd
  • Black Forest top hat,  Raspberry and rose water éclair, Toasted banana and coconut bread with caramelised banana.
  • A pot of Selfridges Selection tea. (Champagne optional extra)
The Tea was gorgeous, perfect homage to some Selfridge favourites; salt beef, and the lemon curd along with the banana bread were my favourites. The service was great and the perfect unwind for a Friday afternoon. Highly recommended, and the perfect  precursor to an evening at the theatre.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Books about Town - River Trail

Last week  the Books about Town benches in London were auctioned off for charity. They have been one of my favourite things to do whilst exploring London during the summer.... its been like a huge lending library across the London landscape. From the benches visited its created much discussion, lots of fun & laughter and spanned generations.... I hope that the British Literary showcased has seen an uplift in library lends and book sales.
Books have always been my way of escaping and from an early age always had my head in a book. This may be some of the reasons as to why I have loved the book about town trails across London this summer... it brings out the child in me
The only trail I didn't get to do was the one in Greenwich, however I am happy with all that I saw.... A few weekends ago with the sun shining I headed into town early and explored the Riverside trail.
City Hall
Sited around City Hall were a number of benches....
  • Through the Looking Glass
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Dr Seuss
 I loved the Dr Seuss bench with Tower Bridge in the background and the new City of London landscape to its left. Completely showcased the vibrancy of the graphics on the bench.
With a backdrop of HMS Belfast and a dancing water fountain close by the Gruffalo bench was a child's delight. As I snapped these images a couple of small children came running along the river bank full of absolute delight to find their favourite woodland creature.
A short walk away from the riverside and in the shadow of the Shard in Clarendon Place stood the beautiful War Horse bench.... Beautifully designed with the symbolic red poppies, and war horses this was a stunning piece of art depicting a heart breaking story.
Back on the Riverside and short walk from London Bridge and Borough Market stood 2 of Britain's favourites - Paddington Bear and Great Expectations. Both icons of our childhood and adult years alike.
The Great Expectations was dark and symbolic to the old masters, whereas Paddington was the perfect epitome of Michael Bond's classic.
My Book bench trail finished outside the theatre home of the world famous author / playwright Shakespeare.  The perfect place to house the bench paying homage to the Author.
I've loved the book benches across the city of the summer and look forward to Paddington appearing for the Christmas and Holiday period.
Here are my previous book bench adventures:
  • Bloomsbury Trail - featuring Hercule Poirot, James Bond, Jane Austen & Peter Pan.
  • City Trail - featuring Mary Poppins, Bridget Jones, Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows.
Last week the book benches were auctioned for charity and raised a quarter of a million £ to improve literary in disadvantaged areas. The 2 highest bids were £9,500 for the Jeeves & Wooster bench and £9,000 for the James Bond stories.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Spandau Ballet ~ Soul Boys

My final "Back to School" moment for the month came on Tuesday night when I spent the night on the red carpet with the Soul Boys of Spandau Ballet.  Its no secret on this blog that I am a fan (Spandau's reformation tour and Tony at the Albert Hall) and jumped at the chance to see the premier of their docu-movie and gig at the Royal Albert Hall. This would be the first time that the whole band would gig this stage since 1983 when True was at the top of the charts.
I arrived at one of my favourite venues in London the Royal Albert Hall just in time to see the band step onto the red carpet. All boys led the fashion stakes in legendary style and panache, something that they were known for over the last 35 years... a little older but still looking fabulous. It was cool to see.
Lauren Laverne opened the evening and welcomed the other 200 cinemas across the nation that had joined the premier of the movie. A full to the rafters Albert Hall settled in their seats, boxes and standing in the eves to watch the film reel roll for a trip back in time to the 80's.
The movie is a fabulous foray into world of the Ballet boys from the fun to the fighting all against the backdrop of the fashion, music and world of the 80's.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it bought back so many memories, its a film about friendship, music, politics and fashion. At times its not comfortable viewing and I would imagine the band when they saw it felt the same, as the falling out and consequent court case makes for uncomfortable viewing.
After the movie, the band sat with the director George Hencken for a Q & A, which again was screened across the cinemas and was much fun. It was evident from this that the band were back in good form and all past differences looked firmly behind them.

 With the movie and Q&A finished it now time to party.... the Ballet boys took to the stage for a set of tunes famous across the world. If any fan had any doubts that Tony & Gary still had issues, these were firmly put to bed when they took to the stage as a pair to kick off the into to Through the Barricades.

 Spandau Ballet were back in fine voice, rocking the Albert Hall is if it was a weekly occurrence instead of 30 years ago.
The band sung a set of 6 songs including To Cut a Long Story short, and the fabulous Only when you Leave,
It was soon time for the end of course the legendary school disco anthem True...
 

As the band closed the set, it was clear to see that they were completely overwhelmed by the response to the evening.
Obviously the evening wasn't completely over as the band returned to the stage for a final encore of their huge anthem Gold!....
The band and crowd rocked the rafters...
It was now officially time to say goodnight, and what an amazing night it was. I had a fabulous time. The Ballet boys are back, and long may it last!
Spandau Ballet cemented their longevity on the little slot they have in my heart on the stage Tuesday night. They took me back to my teens through their film and music and I loved it. I may have been a devout Duranie during my teens but the Ballet boys were a close 2nd for me. This evening took me back to so much, it captures the innocence of those teen years for me perfectly, of so many happy memories and friendships that remain as strong as they did 35 years ago. My life changed significantly in the mid 80's, however this band always takes me back to a happy place, something that has given many smiles over the years, and one of the reasons why I jump at the chance of seeing them whenever and however. I am now looking forward to an evening with Tony Hadley and an orchestra in October and a TV special on the 14th October of the Ballet boys along with a new single and album.... new single showcased here


Wednesday morning I did realise that I was no longer 14 again as late nights on school nights were no longer as forgiving as they used to be and being at my desk for 7 was a killer!.... however happily reliving the evening and my youth kept me going through the day.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

# Project Life ~ September

Wow I can't believe that September has closed and we enter October in a mini heat wave of summer. With the hues of glorious oranges and yellows from the autumnal sun, its no wonder that I can't believe that there are only 3 months left of 2014.
September timetable was a month filled with 'Back to School' fun, featuring Books, Bags, Games, School Disco memories and some Thursday fun, along with meeting the Queen of Bakes.
Looking at my Instagram and IPhone library is filled with late summer fun & frolics, in a back to school style.
Project Life September Timetable ~
  • Domestic Science theory....Mary Berry - I met the Queen of Bakes herself when she came to Selfridges to launch her new book. The epitomy of what the perfect Domestic Science school teacher was at school... great book and a delightful lady.
  • Domestic Science practical .....Baby Bakes ~  a little cake & cupcakes I baked for a friends baby shower... perfect de-stress day filled with icing sugar, eggs & flour - alchemy chemistry at its best.
  • High School Hearthrob.....Pants!... I have had many 'pants' days in September, but none so better than David Gandy's launch of his underwear line for M&S. This caused much fun for me during the month and one of the big hits on my blog & Instagram.
  • History & politics .... filled with Scandal ... one of my TV treats for the month was back to back box sets of Scandal.... completely back in love with Washington and its political intrigue.
  • Fun on Campus .... fun & games in and around Everyman Cinema and Selfridges for team day.
  • Photography & Art - glorious days filled with beautiful sunrises, and sunsets.... perfect for capturing on film.
  • English Language & Literature ..... a fabulous evening of books filled with three of my favourite authors, Jane Green, Lucy Diamond, Karen Swan, talking plots, romance and so much more!
  • PT & games .... a week of games at the Invictus Games, at the Queen Elizabeth Park filled with Royalty and men in uniform!...featuring Jonny Wilkinson, Prince Harry and heroes from the military.... a week which was humbling, inspiring and amazing.
  •  School Disco .... fantastic memories from School Days, School Disco's and amazing memories from a night with Spandau Ballet and their Movie Premier ( blog post to come)
What a fabulous September, so many great memories and big ticks on my bucket list....
Looking at what I have planned in October it will be as fabulous as September..... so far it features; Mr Selfridge Afternoon Tea,  A Memphis evening with Beverley Knight.  An Evening with Tony Hadley and orchestra and a night at the Savoy.  A weekend of Good Food Cakes & bakes
 

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, 19 October 2014

Sunday indulgence...

A Sunday indulgence day for me would  usually include a roast dinner, nanny nap on the sofa, a good book /box set and Sunday night TV.... I am a little excited to type that this Sundays indulgence day will have all those attributes but in more glamorous surroundings than T's terrace.
Way back in February I booked tickets for Tony Hadley's one night in London compete with orchestra, for myself and a friend as a birthday treat. It then got me thinking how lovely it would be not to rush home on a Sunday night from London and could we stay over and that I could go to work from there....all a good plan!
Well the plan has changed as yes we are staying over and this afternoon will be booking into the Savoy for the night!.... Day off has been booked tomorrow, as I am not relinquishing any of the 12pm checkout time in this gorgeous establishment in order to go to work! ... so looking forward to spending a night in this gorgeous 125 year old establishment.....
So I will have a lazy afternoon in sumptuous surroundings, followed by dinner in Simpsons on the Strand. This will be followed by entertainment from Mr Hadley at the Theatre Royal, with an evening nightcap in the American/ Beaufort Bar. Leisurely breakfast tomorrow before heading home....pop back later in week when I will share my stay at the Savoy, or follow me on Instagram where I am sure to be posting pics over the weekend.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

10 weeks today...

and it will be Christmas Day!.... working in retail Christmas is planned a year in advance, but there is always a ripple of excitement when I exit Bond street station and see that the Christmas wraps have gone up around the legendary big yellow store windows. This means that the final countdown has begun and that Christmas will land across all floors within the store over the week, culminating with the big window reveal.
This years Christmas has a story book feel with the windows being the front cover to the Selfridges story... filled with wonder, excitement, fairy-tale legends and some special guests!.... pop back over the coming weeks for a sneak peak into the Enchanted Christmas on 400 Oxford Street.
 
With the Christmas shop opening in the summer, last week it was time to launch Christmas within the Foodhall, complete with a new signature brand range.
The foodhall is now festooned with signature yellow, green and gold decorations, foliage swags dripping with baubles and 8ft trees embellished with large crackers. Large pulled crackers spill out from the ceiling, over the signature tables which are plump with puddings, mince pies, panettone, florentines and gingerbread. I saw some of these product way back in July and the press show and completely fell in love with it.....Favourites include the jar of Gingerbread boys & girls, the giant Mr Selfridge gingerbread. The mince pies are amazing along with the florentines; flavours including chocolate orange and salted chocolate caramel and the golden mini Christmas puddings are decadent and delicious... I'm sure Mr Selfridge would have loved them all......check out some of the range here....
......lots of these will be falling in stockings and gift boxes this year...a little slice of yellow in world of green & gold.... gorgeously delicious... it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Words ~ October

This month Kindle and I have had an adventure whist commuting home from work (more of which I will share late in the post. I have also read 5 books which have kept me entertained as I travel through the tunnels of the London tube.
This months reads;
  • The Vineyard ~ Karen Aldous - Lizzie has created a life in Cannes with her small boy and successful beauty business. Estranged from her mother for several years she heads home to find that things have changes and moved on in her absence. Here Lizzie meets Cal who is leasing land from her mother to grow a Vineyard.  I enjoyed this book, but it took some time for me to like Lizzie, the book also deals with some difficult subjects and fluctuates between 2 styles of writing which took some time for me to get used to. However that aside I enjoyed the story and characters and it was nice to escape to the glamour of the South of France for a while.
  • Sealed with a Kiss ~ Rachel Lucas - Kate is dumped on her best friend's wedding day by the world's most boring boyfriend, Ian. She is more upset at being jobless & homeless on the back of the break-up and finds herself taking a job on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor as an all-round Girl Friday. She is not known for her organisational skills and has a disastrous first meeting with her grouchy boss Laird of the Island - Roddy. However Kate finds herself falling in love with the island and its inhabitants. I loved this book from the start, and I along with Kate fell in love with the island of Auchenmor... I even googled highland island getaway's for next year. A fabulous first book, perfect for curling up on the sofa with a large mug of chocolate ~ delicious
  • Love Like the Movies ~ Victoria Van Tiem - Kenzi has her life all scripted, fiancé Bradley, successful career, home & kids all planned until Kenzi's ex and the boy who broke her heart enters stage left. Shane embarks on a journey to win Kenzi back by re-enacting all the rom-com movies that they used to watch together. He's just a guy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to trust him again!...this book is a must for any rom-com movie fan, perfect for an afternoon on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn and a soda. I loved it and are now working my way through some movie favourites.
  • Gone Girl ~ Gillian Flynn - late to the party on this book and have very mixed views. Amy & Nick have been married for 5 years when she disappears, this starts a huge investigation, with the biggest question being asked has he killed her?... her diary alludes to a marriage that is not what it seems. With huge twists and turns, this book absolutely keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you turning pages. This book had be completely gripped until the end when it turned completely and now I hate it. I absolutely loath the ending and wish I hadn't read it as I feel like its a waste of time. With how successful this book has been and the noise behind the film I am in the minority, but just feel cheated.

  • Pieces of You - Ella Harper - Lucy & Luke are soul mates and have the perfect marriage, after eight long, heart-breaking years trying to have a baby, that perfect marriage is crumbling before their eyes.When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted.  - I loved this book, it's a heart wrenching story which will make you ask yourself so many questions. Written under the new pen name of Ella Harper this is a huge departure from Sasha Wagstaffs normal writing, immensely enjoyable, it explores family ties, secrets and heart-ache.... my only advice is to make sure that you have a hankie handy when you read it.. you will need it. - Ella's book was also the reason for my tube adventure this month!
I was so engrossed in reading Ella's Pieces of You standing on the platform at Bond street station commuting home Friday evening, that I completely didn't see the girl rushing towards me to board the oncoming central line tube. As she barrelled into me my Kindle hurtled into the air into the path of the oncoming tube.
As I waited for the tube to leave the platform, and to witness the fate of my kindle I envisaged looking down on the tracks and seeing a  broken little tablet. To my delight my kindle was hanging precariously on the edge of a ledge, still on the page I had been reading!. The team at Bond street were fabulous and due to it being a security/safety risk to leave it there, they chose to stop the trains and rescue my Kindle from the track..... so huge apologies if you were on a delayed Central line Friday evening during rush hour, it was all my kindle & Ella's fault!
As you can see I've read a an eclectic mix this month and enjoyed most of them. Here are my previous Wednesday words posts of books read this year.
 Look forward to sharing my reads next month...what have you been reading? did you love it or did it not live up to expectation?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

You can take the girl out of the 80's...

but not the 80's out of the girl!... this week I have had acute moments of being 44 going on 14!.... and have spent moments of the week regressing to 1984 at regular intervals. Looking at what I have planned this weekend this is likely to continue into next week, as I am off to see Tony Hadley on Sunday..
Way back in February I received notification of Tony Hadley's planned tour dates for the autumn. As a huge TH & Spandau Ballet fan I jumped at the chance to see him with a full orchestra.

I had seen Tony last year at the Royal Albert Hall and he was fabulous, so I knew it would be a great show...and booked tickets, for the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. ( Here's my post from last year.)
I never thought way back in February that I would also be seeing Spandau Ballet on stage in the same month, as there had been no talk of another reconciliation since the reformation tour of 2009.
 Earlier this month I attended the Movie Premiere of Soul Boys of the Western World at the Royal Albert Hall and loved it. I tweeted my blog post and was thrilled to receive the attached from Gary in response.


With such a fantastic response to the event and movie it was no surprise that the Ballet boys announced a tour this week for early next year. Monday morning  8am was spent on ipad securing tickets for next March... perfect school reunion night planned with the girls!
 I have loved watching the guys PR the movie and album on TV shows over the past couple of weeks. Here's one of my favourites from This morning on Monday.
My Spandau Ballet moments continued, when shortly after the This Morning programmed aired I nearly bumped into Martin in Selfridges. I was coming down the escalator to go to the foodhall to grab some lunch and he literally was in front of me!... The shy 14 year old reared its ugly head and I regressed completely!... made my afternoon when I received this.
Sometimes its the little things that bring the biggest smiles!... thanks Tony, Martin, Gary, Steve & John for bringing much joy to my October!.... looking forward to seeing Tony on Sunday and the Band in March... but before then I have an ITV Special to watch.... Pure Gold!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Home of the Bard....

Before Summer faded and Autumn arrived I spent a beautiful Sunday morning on the South bank exploring some of the London's historic landmarks. The first being the home the theatrical London home of Shakespeare, The Globe.
This was my first trip since I was at school and appreciated it much more. Its a gorgeous building now in its 3rd build as its been a victim of fire on a couple of occasions, now restored its a great venue steeped in history.
 As well as being able to tour the stage and seating area of the Globe, you also get the opportunity to see some of the artefacts and gorgeous costumes from some of the theatre classics. I had a great time exploring this iconic building....
Here's some other Shakespeare related posts from previous adventures in London and New York.
This month my friend Ali McNamara release's her 5th novel and 3rd in her "From Notting Hill" series. This one will feature The Globe theatre which I am looking forward to immensely along with New York.... I know what I will be reading later this month!... Looking forward to catching up with Scarlett & co....Here's my From Notting hill to New York actually adventures...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

An evening at Memphis...

As a huge fan of musical theatre I jumped at the chance to grab preview tickets for the new West End show Memphis. Memphis has been a huge Broadway triumph and US national hit, it has now crossed the Pond and is in preview at the Shaftsbury Theatre.
Memphis is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.
The synopsis of the musical is of the underground club scene of the 1950's Memphis Tennessee, where blues, gospel and the first sounds of rock 'n' roll were part of the black culture. Falling in love with a beautiful club singer, one young man’s vision to bring her voice and her music out of the clubs and onto the airwaves of America flew in the face of cultural divides and sparked a music revolution that shook the world."
Here is the show launch at Ronnie Scott's this summer...
          
        
The musical stars Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly, and they are both phenomenal.
Here is Killian Donnelly singing Memphis in me, which is stunning.


Friday was the 2nd show in its preview run into its London premiere of the 23rd October and at the end all of the audience was on their feet, standing ovation all round.  A new hit has been born in the West End of London. This show is a must see for this season, and I would thoroughly recommend it as a great night out. A fabulous show, which deals with a subject that to my generation is unimaginable but was so real back in the 50's ... Music being a medium that started to break down the race barriers.
I tweeted how much I had enjoyed the show and I got this tweet back from Beverley on Saturday morning.

Afternoon Tea ~ Mr Selfridge style

Last Friday I took 2 special older ladies for a spot of afternoon tea Mr Selfridge style followed by an evening at the theatre.
Tea was hosted in the beautiful Corner restaurant at Selfridges.
The Corner is a restaurant situated on the 2nd floor tucked in the corner overlooking Oxford Street. It has an old school art deco glamour feel about it, and is perfect for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Menu for tea includes:
  • Freshly prepared finger sandwiches: Egg and mustard cress, Coronation chicken, Cucumber and cream cheese.
  • Pulled salt beef, potato bread and sauce gribiche, Rye and pumpernickel crisp bread, whipped  goats cheese and beetroot and Smoked salmon blini, lobster and caper mayonnaise.
  • Freshly baked scone topped with Cornish clotted cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd
  • Black Forest top hat,  Raspberry and rose water éclair, Toasted banana and coconut bread with caramelised banana.
  • A pot of Selfridges Selection tea. (Champagne optional extra)
The Tea was gorgeous, perfect homage to some Selfridge favourites; salt beef, and the lemon curd along with the banana bread were my favourites. The service was great and the perfect unwind for a Friday afternoon. Highly recommended, and the perfect  precursor to an evening at the theatre.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Books about Town - River Trail

Last week  the Books about Town benches in London were auctioned off for charity. They have been one of my favourite things to do whilst exploring London during the summer.... its been like a huge lending library across the London landscape. From the benches visited its created much discussion, lots of fun & laughter and spanned generations.... I hope that the British Literary showcased has seen an uplift in library lends and book sales.
Books have always been my way of escaping and from an early age always had my head in a book. This may be some of the reasons as to why I have loved the book about town trails across London this summer... it brings out the child in me
The only trail I didn't get to do was the one in Greenwich, however I am happy with all that I saw.... A few weekends ago with the sun shining I headed into town early and explored the Riverside trail.
City Hall
Sited around City Hall were a number of benches....
  • Through the Looking Glass
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Dr Seuss
 I loved the Dr Seuss bench with Tower Bridge in the background and the new City of London landscape to its left. Completely showcased the vibrancy of the graphics on the bench.
With a backdrop of HMS Belfast and a dancing water fountain close by the Gruffalo bench was a child's delight. As I snapped these images a couple of small children came running along the river bank full of absolute delight to find their favourite woodland creature.
A short walk away from the riverside and in the shadow of the Shard in Clarendon Place stood the beautiful War Horse bench.... Beautifully designed with the symbolic red poppies, and war horses this was a stunning piece of art depicting a heart breaking story.
Back on the Riverside and short walk from London Bridge and Borough Market stood 2 of Britain's favourites - Paddington Bear and Great Expectations. Both icons of our childhood and adult years alike.
The Great Expectations was dark and symbolic to the old masters, whereas Paddington was the perfect epitome of Michael Bond's classic.
My Book bench trail finished outside the theatre home of the world famous author / playwright Shakespeare.  The perfect place to house the bench paying homage to the Author.
I've loved the book benches across the city of the summer and look forward to Paddington appearing for the Christmas and Holiday period.
Here are my previous book bench adventures:
  • Bloomsbury Trail - featuring Hercule Poirot, James Bond, Jane Austen & Peter Pan.
  • City Trail - featuring Mary Poppins, Bridget Jones, Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows.
Last week the book benches were auctioned for charity and raised a quarter of a million £ to improve literary in disadvantaged areas. The 2 highest bids were £9,500 for the Jeeves & Wooster bench and £9,000 for the James Bond stories.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Spandau Ballet ~ Soul Boys

My final "Back to School" moment for the month came on Tuesday night when I spent the night on the red carpet with the Soul Boys of Spandau Ballet.  Its no secret on this blog that I am a fan (Spandau's reformation tour and Tony at the Albert Hall) and jumped at the chance to see the premier of their docu-movie and gig at the Royal Albert Hall. This would be the first time that the whole band would gig this stage since 1983 when True was at the top of the charts.
I arrived at one of my favourite venues in London the Royal Albert Hall just in time to see the band step onto the red carpet. All boys led the fashion stakes in legendary style and panache, something that they were known for over the last 35 years... a little older but still looking fabulous. It was cool to see.
Lauren Laverne opened the evening and welcomed the other 200 cinemas across the nation that had joined the premier of the movie. A full to the rafters Albert Hall settled in their seats, boxes and standing in the eves to watch the film reel roll for a trip back in time to the 80's.
The movie is a fabulous foray into world of the Ballet boys from the fun to the fighting all against the backdrop of the fashion, music and world of the 80's.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it bought back so many memories, its a film about friendship, music, politics and fashion. At times its not comfortable viewing and I would imagine the band when they saw it felt the same, as the falling out and consequent court case makes for uncomfortable viewing.
After the movie, the band sat with the director George Hencken for a Q & A, which again was screened across the cinemas and was much fun. It was evident from this that the band were back in good form and all past differences looked firmly behind them.

 With the movie and Q&A finished it now time to party.... the Ballet boys took to the stage for a set of tunes famous across the world. If any fan had any doubts that Tony & Gary still had issues, these were firmly put to bed when they took to the stage as a pair to kick off the into to Through the Barricades.

 Spandau Ballet were back in fine voice, rocking the Albert Hall is if it was a weekly occurrence instead of 30 years ago.
The band sung a set of 6 songs including To Cut a Long Story short, and the fabulous Only when you Leave,
It was soon time for the end of course the legendary school disco anthem True...
 

As the band closed the set, it was clear to see that they were completely overwhelmed by the response to the evening.
Obviously the evening wasn't completely over as the band returned to the stage for a final encore of their huge anthem Gold!....
The band and crowd rocked the rafters...
It was now officially time to say goodnight, and what an amazing night it was. I had a fabulous time. The Ballet boys are back, and long may it last!
Spandau Ballet cemented their longevity on the little slot they have in my heart on the stage Tuesday night. They took me back to my teens through their film and music and I loved it. I may have been a devout Duranie during my teens but the Ballet boys were a close 2nd for me. This evening took me back to so much, it captures the innocence of those teen years for me perfectly, of so many happy memories and friendships that remain as strong as they did 35 years ago. My life changed significantly in the mid 80's, however this band always takes me back to a happy place, something that has given many smiles over the years, and one of the reasons why I jump at the chance of seeing them whenever and however. I am now looking forward to an evening with Tony Hadley and an orchestra in October and a TV special on the 14th October of the Ballet boys along with a new single and album.... new single showcased here


Wednesday morning I did realise that I was no longer 14 again as late nights on school nights were no longer as forgiving as they used to be and being at my desk for 7 was a killer!.... however happily reliving the evening and my youth kept me going through the day.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

# Project Life ~ September

Wow I can't believe that September has closed and we enter October in a mini heat wave of summer. With the hues of glorious oranges and yellows from the autumnal sun, its no wonder that I can't believe that there are only 3 months left of 2014.
September timetable was a month filled with 'Back to School' fun, featuring Books, Bags, Games, School Disco memories and some Thursday fun, along with meeting the Queen of Bakes.
Looking at my Instagram and IPhone library is filled with late summer fun & frolics, in a back to school style.
Project Life September Timetable ~
  • Domestic Science theory....Mary Berry - I met the Queen of Bakes herself when she came to Selfridges to launch her new book. The epitomy of what the perfect Domestic Science school teacher was at school... great book and a delightful lady.
  • Domestic Science practical .....Baby Bakes ~  a little cake & cupcakes I baked for a friends baby shower... perfect de-stress day filled with icing sugar, eggs & flour - alchemy chemistry at its best.
  • High School Hearthrob.....Pants!... I have had many 'pants' days in September, but none so better than David Gandy's launch of his underwear line for M&S. This caused much fun for me during the month and one of the big hits on my blog & Instagram.
  • History & politics .... filled with Scandal ... one of my TV treats for the month was back to back box sets of Scandal.... completely back in love with Washington and its political intrigue.
  • Fun on Campus .... fun & games in and around Everyman Cinema and Selfridges for team day.
  • Photography & Art - glorious days filled with beautiful sunrises, and sunsets.... perfect for capturing on film.
  • English Language & Literature ..... a fabulous evening of books filled with three of my favourite authors, Jane Green, Lucy Diamond, Karen Swan, talking plots, romance and so much more!
  • PT & games .... a week of games at the Invictus Games, at the Queen Elizabeth Park filled with Royalty and men in uniform!...featuring Jonny Wilkinson, Prince Harry and heroes from the military.... a week which was humbling, inspiring and amazing.
  •  School Disco .... fantastic memories from School Days, School Disco's and amazing memories from a night with Spandau Ballet and their Movie Premier ( blog post to come)
What a fabulous September, so many great memories and big ticks on my bucket list....
Looking at what I have planned in October it will be as fabulous as September..... so far it features; Mr Selfridge Afternoon Tea,  A Memphis evening with Beverley Knight.  An Evening with Tony Hadley and orchestra and a night at the Savoy.  A weekend of Good Food Cakes & bakes
 

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