Review: Mia Tui Jennie Travel Bag

GIFTED: I have always loved organiser handbags. They appeal to the neat freak in me who wants a pocket, slot, flap and zip-up compartment for everything. Insulated bottle holder?  Key fob?

You’ll find all these in a Mia Tui bag and there’s no doubt that they are the experts in designing multi-purpose bags in a wide range of sizes and colours.

 

organiser handbags - Mia Tui Jennie Travel Bag

They also make some of the few bags I’ve come across that will take a PC or Mac Book.  They are also very reasonably priced.

You’ll find a comprehensive guide to choosing the right Mia Tui bag for you on their website and the Jennie is one of the larger bags designed for travel.

This bag has a cleverly designed pocket which slots over the handle of a standard suitcase so that it sits securely on top.

The Jennie comes with a clutch bag that has a cross-body strap and wrist strap, small PVC bag, two insulated bottle holders, clips for your keys, phone & pen pockets.

This bag will also fit a 15″ laptop!

There’s a smaller version of this bag – the Mini Jen – too which has all the same features as the Jennie, but is a bit smaller. You can still fix it on to the handle of a standard suitcase.

I really love the bright blue interior – no more rummaging around in a black hole trying to find your keys at night and the Jennie comes in a range of gorgeous colours including mine – the rose gold.

There’s free shipping on orders over £25 too.

Don’t forget to check out Mia Tui’s other organiser handbags as there is a great selection of bags suitable for baby changing, work, gym and as day-to-day handbags.  I love that they are all designed for you to take your favourite piece of tech with you (e.g your Kindle) and there’s no chance of losing your keys.

Review: Adexe Meek Grande Rosegold Watch

GIFTED: There’s something special about a really stylish watch, isn’t there?  I know most of us rely on our mobiles to tell the time these days but it’s not quite as romantic and you can’t really use a mobile phone to accessorize an outfit! I recently discovered Adexe London watches and they kindly sent one of their signature watches to review – the Adexe Meek Grande Rosegold watch.

Meek Grande Rosegold watch from Adexe London

Meek Grande Rosegold watch from Adexe London

About Adexe London

Adexe have a different philosophy which sets them apart from lots of other mass-market watch retailers and manufacturers.  Their non-conformist approach involves providing contemporary but traditionally crafted watches combined with an element of minimalism. Their prices are very affordable too. You can read about the design and manufacturing process on their website.

Adexe London Meek Grande Rosegold watch

You might wonder what’s behind the name “Meek” and it is intended to reflect the values of serenity, simplicity and security for all.

The Meek Grande Rosegold watch is a new addition to the Meek range and includes a subtle date indicator and oversized Roman numerals. It has a 40.5mm dial and a 20mm wide handmade stainless steel strap which can be adjusted to fit by means of an open spring bar.

It comes with a 5-year battery and also has a 3ATM water rating, making it rain- and splash-proof but it is not suitable for the shower or pool.

It is a striking timepiece with a vintage feel.

My thoughts on the Meek Grande Rosegold

This is a beautiful and elegant watch which really stands out on your wrist. It is light and comfortable to wear and I was really impressed that it came with an adjustable strap.  Other watches I have been sent to review have required a trip to the jewellers to get them adjusted which, of course, adds to the expense!

Once you have adjusted the watch strap using the open spring bar, you simply slide the watch on and off as required by unclipping it. As a left-hander, I can’t bear fiddly straps but this is fine for me.

The watch is blissfully easy to set up by simply pulling out the toggle on the side to adjust the time and date.  A little instruction card is to be found in the presentation box.

I loved that I could easily read the time on the large watch face.  When I wear my contact lenses I still need a pair of reading glasses and if I haven’t got them with me, much squinting is required – but not in this case.

The black watch face and the rose gold casing and strap go really well together and I think the Meek Grande could be worn on a glam night out as well as casually from day-to-day.

Where to buy the Adexe Meek Grande Rosegold

The Adexe Meek Grande Rosegold watch is just one of a wide range of watches for men and women on the Adexe website.

Review: Anthony James Of London Ladies Belgravia Watch

If you are still looking for an elegant gift for her, this simple, stylish watch would fit the bill nicely.

The Ladies Belgravia watch by Anthony James of London has a pink dial and a rose gold case.  The strap is in minimalistic gold steel and there are Swarowski crystals at 12, 3,6 and 9 o’clock to add sparkle.

Anthony James of London Ladies Belgravia Watch - simple, stylish watch

This is an ultra quiet, low maintenance watch with no bells and whistles, just a simple bezel to alter the time. The design is simple, yet classy and would suit both casual, evening and business wear.

Anthony James of London are World renowned watch makers and produce the official timepieces for both the Scottish Champions Celtic and Premier Division Club Newcastle United and they have over 40 years’ experience of watch making.

The watch comes in a simple grey and black presentation box with Anthony James of London on the front.  I felt the quality of the box could be improved upon slightly as the branding was a little faded, however, it is perfectly serviceable.

There is one issue with the watch, however, and that is that, although generous, the strap is not adjustable and there is no tool in the box to remove a link. A trip to the jewellers is on the cards which will of course add to the price of the watch.

There is a 5 year extended warranty in the presentation box, however, your watch needs to be registered within 28 days.  There are quite a few things that will render your warranty invalid so make sure you read through them thoroughly.  There is, however, a 90 day 100% money back guarantee.

This is an attractive and elegant watch which looks expensive and is currently available from Amazon at £49.99 reduced from £149.99.

For the price, however, it would be a nice gift, bearing in mind the proviso that the recipient will need to get the strap altered.

This simple, stylish watch is nice enough to warrant that extra bit of expenditure and I will certainly be altering mine to fit.

*PR sample sent for the purpose of this review.  Post contains an affiliate link.

Review: A Unique Glazed Rose Heart Pendant From The Eternity Rose

If you are looking for a truly special gift or keepsake, I have discovered The Eternity Rose  – a company specialising in precious-metal-coated or glazed natural roses.

The Eternity Rose - purple rose heart pendant

They use roses from their own nurseries, tended by their skilled horticulturists. When the roses have reached their ideal stage of growth, they are hand-picked and subjected to a long and complex preservation process which results in a blossom that will never tarnish or deteriorate over time.

Their flagship product is the 24kt gold dipped natural rose (£119) but The Eternity Rose also creates some exquisitely beautiful pieces of jewellery all of which would make a unique gift for birthdays or Christmas and a really romantic gift for weddings and anniversaries.

The Eternity Rose - Purple Glazed Rose Heart Pendant

I was sent a beautiful Purple Glazed Rose Heart pendant (£51) and it is a beautiful and very unusual piece. Made using real miniature rose petals edged with 24kt gold, the heart is surrounded by 21 radiant synthetic diamonds to add sparkle.

The pendant comes on a matching 24 karat gold multi-link chain and is presented in a lovely velvet pouch for safe storage.

My pendant also came with a Certificate of Authenticity, guaranteeing that the piece was made from natural miniature rose petals which have been glazed and embossed with 24kt gold.

The pendant is a decent size and the chain is good quality.  You may wish to substitute the chain if you want a longer pendant but I found mine sat just right around my neck.

There are a range of colour options, including red, pink, white, purple and blue plus sets with earrings, dipped vases and gifts for him such as 24 kt dipped poker cards and even golf balls.

I love the romantic ethos of The Eternity Rose and their pieces would certainly last longer than a bouquet of red roses (and cost a little less!).  The colours of the roses can also be matched to wedding anniversaries (for example red for 2nd, purple for 6th).  Much nicer than cotton or iron!

Actually, Mat and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on 25th September this year and I’m pretty glad he didn’t get me anything made from iron (or an iron, come to that!).  My wedding bouquet was of dark red roses studded with imitation diamonds so my pendant very much reminds me of it.

You’ll also find relationship and dating advice from clinical psychologist Dr Carissa Coulston which, as an online relationship coach myself, I found very useful.  Check out my weekly problem page here.

Choosing the perfect wedding ring

You’re already engaged, and you can’t wait to finally marry your husband-to-be, but one thing is missing – choosing the perfect wedding ring.

Choosing the perfect wedding ring - a beautiful diamond ring

When you’ve already had your engagement ring chosen for you, sometimes it can be difficult to decide which wedding ring is right for you. With so many different types of cut, colour, clarity and carat to choose from, it can be a daunting task before the big day arrives. Together with Angelic Diamonds, specialist retailers in bespoke wedding rings, here are the definitive need-to-knows when it comes to choosing a ring that looks perfect on your finger.

Things to consider when choosing the perfect wedding ring

Diamond cut

Out of the four key characteristics of your ring’s diamond, the cut is the most important. This is because the cut has the greatest influence on the diamond’s sparkle, meaning the better the cut, the more the diamond will sparkle on your wedding day.

You should keep in mind that just because a diamond has perfect clarity and colour grade, it can still appear dull. The only thing that keeps a diamond from looking dull is its cut.

To put it simply, a diamond’s cut is dependent on its light performance – or what we generally consider it sparkle. So, the perfect ring with an ideal diamond cut will not be too shallow or too deep, and it will allow light to pass through it so that it reflects evenly throughout the diamond.

Colour

Of the four, this is the second most important factor when considering the perfect wedding ring.  The eye detects sparkle from the diamond cut first, and then detects the colour of the diamond second.

If you want to make the most of your wedding ring on a budget, then choose a near-colourless diamond grade between G-H. Colour will not be detected by the naked eye, which will make you and your diamond look perfect on the day, and in the photos. Colour in diamonds appears as a pale yellow, so if this is evident anywhere in the ring you are thinking about buying, we would recommend avoiding it.

Clarity

If you’re unsure as to what this means, the clarity of your diamond ring refers to the small imperfections that are within all diamonds, which are known as inclusions. The fewer inclusions in the ring, the better the clarity, which means your wedding ring will shine bright no matter where you are.

Don’t worry, if your ring only contains a few inclusions that are visible to the naked eye, it’s unlikely that they will be seen easily. By purchasing an SI (slightly included) quality diamond, you’re able to buy something visually stunning, without having to pay the cost of a diamond that contains no inclusions and no imperfections.

Carat

Many brides misunderstand this all-important factor when it comes to the 4cs, the carat weight of the diamond on your wedding ring. Many believe that it refers to the diamond’s size, and not its weight, this isn’t the case – so try to keep this in mind when choosing your ideal ring for the wedding.

The cut of the diamond will change how large the carat weight appears, so it’s important to get a good balance of both so that your ring sits well on the finger, but also provides you with the shine and brilliance you need to make heads turn on your wedding day.

Go-to quick tips

To make sure your ring matches the perfection of your wedding day, take these other factors into considerations when choosing your ring:

If carat weight is important to you, consider a diamond with a good cut, with an SI1-SI2 clarity and an I or J colour grade.

Keep in mind that based on the size of your finger, the larger the diamond will appear.

Not all ring fittings will fit all diamond carats and shapes, so it’s important to consider what type of diamond shape you’d like before choosing its design.

Choosing the perfect wedding ring needn’t be complicated if you follow these tips and you can use them all over again when you choose an eternity ring!

Spring Bags 2016 I’m Loving

There are so many fabulous bags out there to choose from and what better way to freshen up your wardrobe without too much of a splurge (although sometimes your heart leads you astray).

These are my current favourites.

Bow Handle Cross Body Bag, Floozie By Frost French At Debenhams

I love the colour of this bag from Floozie. It features a bow handle on the top, a fold over popper fastening design and a detachable shoulder strap.

Vivienne Westwood Bunny Shopper £170 – Vivienne Westwood Bags

How cute is this bunny shopper from Vivienne Westwood Bags?  As you’d expect from Westwood, there is plenty of quirkiness which ensures that any of her bags automatically become investment pieces you want to keep and revisit year upon year.

River Island Structured Tote Bag – £45

This is a striking mustard yellow suede structured tote bag from River Island. With white top handle and white side tassel details, I think it’s great value at £45.

Antonello Woven Tote – £295

This is a really unusual drawstring bag with a bit of a 70’s vibe about it. Antonello took inspiration from hand weaving techniques from Sardinia for this bag which has a beautiful tribal pattern adorning the front. This bag would look fab matched with a white outfit to make the colour pop.

Marc Jacobs Embellished Backpack – £712.18

This statement backpack combines casual graffiti-print cotton canvas with nickel hardware and has backpack straps, looped top-carry handle, zip-around closure and front zip pocket.

Simply Be Tweed Shoulder Bag – £20

This bag with pastel colours and a gold chain is an absolute bargain from Simply Be.

Micro Sidney Fringe Bag From Whistles – £85

The bucket shaped bag has a drawstring closure with fringes and a metal chain.  Very bohemian!

So there you have it.  Which one is your favourite?

New In Fashion & Accessory Treats

These are some of my favourite fashion and accessory treats – just out now, in time for the approaching Christmas party season.

Purple Long Sleeve Lace Dress from Glamorous.com
Purple Long Sleeve Lace Dress With Tie Up Detail – Glamorous.com £38.00
Leaf Clutter Ear Cuff, Diva at Miss Selfridge
Leaf Clutter Ear Cuff – Diva at Miss Selfridge – £8.50

 

Dune Aimey Court - £79
Dune – Aimey Court £79
La Redoute Lace Dress
La Redoute Lace Dress – £26.25
Elvi Sequin Tassel Dress – Simply Be – £129.00
Folli Follie Earrings
Triple Layer Fringed Clutch
Triple Layer Fringed Clutch – Very – £28
Shoe Box North Platform Graduated Glitter Court - Very
Shoe Box North Platform Graduated Glitter Court – Very – £28.00

 

Wallis Black Sparkle Wrap Jumpsuit
Black Sparkle Wrap Jumpsuit – Wallis – £38.40

There are some gorgeous pieces on the high street now.  Which is your favourite?

There are loads more fashion info and tips on my fashion page.  Just click HERE.

Review: Lauren Friedman’s 50 Ways To Wear A Scarf

Did you know that, according to recent research, 30% of a woman’s wardrobe is wasted, meaning that she only wears 70% of what’s hanging up in her wardrobe?

Apparently, we women are also guilty of not wearing the clothes we do have, with the average item of clothing being worn just 2-3 times a year, despite it being estimated that women buy 64 new items of clothing each year.

Whilst I’d like to know who these lucky women are, I have to confess I am rather welded into my black leggings when running after the kids.

It’s really hard to keep up with the latest fashion trends as they change so quickly.  And who has the money to buy a whole new wardrobe each time you want to update your look? No.  The canny fashionista would advise that you can simply update your existing clothing with accessories.

Lauren Friedman’s 50 Ways To Wear A Scarf

Items like a scarf can be extremely versatile in how you wear them and I’ve found a lovely little book that challenges us to wear a scarf in 50 different ways – yes 50!

In my office days, there would always be one woman who, upon switching off her PC, would don her coat and do something stylish with a scarf (often Burberry).  My own attempts would go as far as chucking a scarf around my neck and having done with it.

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Lauren Friedman’s 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf book shows how to wrap, loop, or tie a scarf to instantly dress up or dress down any outfit, helping you to discover the delights of styles such as the Bandit, Minnie Mouse, Ascot, New York, Boy Scout, babushka and 44 other fascinating styles.

The book shows you how to create these styles in easy steps, complete with illustrations, helping you to get the right look using oblong and square scarves.

OK, so I probably still need to practise but at least now I have 2 styles in my repertoire!

My version of No. 1 – The Bandit

Lauren Friedman’s 50 Ways To Wear A Scarf is a really clear and concise guide which gives you loads of ideas, even how to create a kimono and various ways you can wear a scarf in your hair.

Unlike lots of the other style/wardrobe guides which are a two-minute read and give you really basic ideas, this one really delivers in terms of fashion sense, creativity and ease of use.

Because the instructions are well illustrated and simple, the reader is given the confidence to try out styles of scarf you might not previously have considered.

I will definitely be giving some of the other styles a go.

Review: ClaireaBella Medium Jute Bags for Girls

You may remember I recently posted about my lovely personalised jute bag made by ClaireaBella. Loved by celebs and previously featured on ITV’s This Morning, I bought my personalised bag during one of stockist Toxic Fox’s occasional discount offer periods and both Caitlin and I fell in love with it.

Since then, the ClaireaBella range has exploded with a whole raft of girls’ accessories which can be personalised – not only jute bags but hoodies, t-shirts, mugs, wine glasses and phone covers to name just a few.

Caitlin was overjoyed when she recently got the chance to have her own ClaireaBella medium jute bag courtesy of Toxic Fox.  The bags are an ideal birthday present for girls of all ages and great for taking on holiday to pose on the beach!

How are the bags personalised? Simply go to the Toxic Fox website, click on ClaireaBella and then select the most appropriate dress design, hairstyle, hair colour, eye colour, skin tone and name (up to 12 characters) for you, then sit back and wait for your unique bag to arrive. You can design your own ‘aBella’ character in about a minute and it is really easy to do.

Choose your outfit and then customise eye, hair, and skin colour and choose an accessory.

And it’s so simple, Caitlin designed hers in a couple of minutes. In fact she revisited the application quite a few times to play around with different looks and combinations.

 

In terms of quality, the bags are very well made and the jute is of a sturdy quality. Caitlin’s is a Girls Medium Jute Bag which measures 30 cm wide x 27 cm high with a 15 cm gusset. The handles are nicely rounded so that the bag is comfortable to carry.  You can have a name up to 12 characters painted on your bag.

The bag also features Swarovski elements, a cute rosette bow, a ‘hand made with love’ silver charm and a gorgeous rosette and bow. Each design is also surrounded by matching bubbles. Because there are so many ClaireaBella impersonators out there, each bag also says “yes it’s a ClaireaBella” on the reverse.

The jute bags can take up to 15 Working Days to produce as they are hand-made with love. Because each bag is hand-painted by a fully trained ClaireaBella artist there may be some slight colour variations, but this makes every bag unique.

The Girls’ Medium Jute Bag measures 30cm wide by 27cm high with a 17cm gusset and is priced at £34.99 with free delivery when you spend over £40.

More information is available at ClaireaBella at Toxic Fox. @ClaireaBellaLtd on Twitter or on Facebook.

Be warned though,  Caitlin already has several “mum & daughter” shopping trips planned so we can show off our ClaireaBella personalised bags!

 

Review: ClaireaBella Jute Bags – Handmade With Love

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, I’m sure you will have seen these lovely personalised ClaireaBella jute bags which every celeb seems to be carrying.  These bags have even been featured on ITV’s This Morning.

I managed to get one from their stockist Toxic Fox at a marvellous £20 discount, but there are frequent offers to look out for.

ClaireaBella jute bags - my lovely bag

How are the bags personalised? Simply go to the Toxic Fox website, click on ClaireaBella and then select the most appropriate dress design, hairstyle, hair colour, eye colour, skin tone and name (up to 12 characters) for you, then sit back and wait for your unique bag to arrive.

You can design your own ‘aBella’ character in about a minute and it is really easy to do.

My only quibble is that a few extra variations of hair colour would be good.

ClaireaBella jute bags - bag detail

In terms of quality, the bags are very well made and the jute is of a sturdy quality.

Mine is a large bag which measures 40 cm wide x 33 cm high with a 17.5 cm gusset.

The handles are nicely rounded so that the bag is comfortable to carry.

ClaireaBella jute bags - the handmade with love silver charm

The bag also features Swarovski elements, a cute rosette bow, a ‘handmade with love’ silver charm, 2 painted hearts and some sparkle and glitter.

Because there are so many ClaireaBella impersonators out there, each bag also says “yes it’s a ClaireaBella” on the reverse.

Large Jute Bags can take up to 15 Working Days to produce as they are hand-made with love.

Because each bag is hand painted by a fully trained ClaireaBella artist there may be some slight colour variations, but this makes every bag unique.

The large jute bag is currently priced between £39.99 to £44.99 but Toxic Fox is offering a £5 discount at the moment and, for orders over £40, delivery is free.

The medium jute bag measures 30cm wide by 27cm high with a 17cm gusset and is priced at £34.99 with the smaller Polo Fashion bag measures 21cm wide by 15cm high with a 10cm gusset and is priced at £24.99.

There is a range of other types of bags too, including canvas, satchel and occasion.

Better still, there is a whole range of merchandise bearing the ClaireaBella name, from suitcases to wine glasses, mobile phone cases, stationery and cushions.

If you want to treat yourself, or find a unique gift, visit ClaireaBella at Toxic Fox.  You can also connect with ClaireaBella on Twitter and Facebook.

Caitlin loved mine so much she now has her own ClaireaBella bag for girls!

Have you seen ClaireaBella jute bags?

Pin for later:

*This is an independent review based on my own ClaireaBella purchase.

Giveaway: Gorgeous New Mum & Baby Socks & Booties From Perilla Worth £35

This giveaway is now closed but you can find all my current competitions on my competitions page.

After featuring Perilla’s gorgeous baby alpaca bed socks in one of my Daily Distraction posts (21/11/2013), the lovely Sandra at Perilla has given me a gorgeous New Mum & Baby box worth £35 to give away to one lucky reader.

Perilla is a real British success story.  

Home to the finest quality British made alpaca socks, the company was born in 2006 by business woman Sandra Morton after a chance meeting with a leading local alpaca breed who had an interest in producing knitwear. 

Based on an idyllic farm on the Hereford / Worcester border where Sandra also breeds horses and ponies, today Perilla is home to a magnificent range of alpaca socks, knitwear and luxury gifts, importing over 1.8 tonnes of the softest baby alpaca fibre from Peru.

The box contains a pair of cream bed socks for mum and a pair of the softest, cutest, baby booties for their new arrival (you can choose the appropriate pink, blue or natural colour). 

The bed socks are 90% baby alpaca and the booties are 100% baby alpaca and are slightly more hard wearing.

Perilla sagely tell us that if your feet are warm at night it apparently helps your kidneys work better and aids restful sleep. And if there’s one thing a new mum needs – it’s surely sleep!

To enter the giveaway, which closes at midnight on Friday 13th December (lucky for someone though!), just complete the Rafflecopter. The usual terms and conditions apply.

a Rafflecopter giveaway