Sunday 29 December 2013

New Year Party Dress Sale 2014

Merry Christmas one and all - I hope you had as much fun as me over the past few weeks with your nearest and dearest. 

However, the devouring of mince pies and inhaling of mulled wine is certainly not over yet.

With New Year's Eve approaching, this is the time to don your finest frock and party like it's 2014. But if you're a little stuck, here is the Sale Edit, hand picked by me to help you see in the new year in undeniable style - and at lovely prices, too.

Whatever you get up to on the 31st, have a wonderful time. I wish you a very Happy New Year.

Go forth and sparkle!

Thursday 19 December 2013

Miss Selfridge Limited Beaded Lace Dress Christmas Party

It's probably fair to say that, in recent years, Miss Selfridge became a name I associated with my teenage years. As Topshop swelled the ranks and swept across the UK and international fashion scene, becoming popular with girls, women and celebrities alike, Miss Selfridge struggled to keep up with the pace.

But in recent seasons that has started to change and the culmination of this new direction is the gorgeous range of limited edition party wear. From floaty frocks to daring body cons; from sequins to lace, the range has all your Christmas party needs sorted. And the dress I've chosen for this month is the Beaded Lace Pencil dress. 

I've already worn it once to The Ritz and it received several compliments, (the fiancĂ© loved it, too). It shapes and moulds in all the right places and the subtle waistband provides definition for your curves (even if, like me, you're a little straight up and down). The midi length makes this the perfect choice for both day and night occasions. 

The embellishment is the best bit - it reminds me of art and craft lessons at school, when yoghurt pots were filled with sparkling treasures - beads, sequins and buttons - and we'd stick as many as possible onto our work. Only this is more grown up and the amount of sparkle is just right. This dress is better still, because the light purple shade works well for festive parties, but it will also carry you through many weddings and events throughout the whole year.

What to wear it with:

I opted for bare legs and purple shoes, but nudes would work well. You could go for charcoal tights (black would be too harsh) and sparkly shoes.

Keep jewellery to a minimum and wear earrings and a bracelet. A bright pinkish red lipstick will add a flick of colour.

It isn't a snip at £195, but as long as those beads stay intact, this dress will be worth every penny.  

More beautiful embellished dresses from Miss Selfridge:

Pink Sequin Flapper Dress, £150

Red Flapper Dress, £190

Teal Flapper Dress £170

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Monday 9 December 2013

The Nutcracker Christmas theme decoration party

Decking the Halls

We do a lot of entertaining around Christmastime and I love decorating our little postage stamp with beautiful things to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Often the trickiest part is deciding on the general 'theme'. This does not mean I go out and buy a new set of decorations every year to suit my whim, rather I try to give a subtle nod and wink to a Christmas story.

I take my inspiration from traditions of Christmas past combined with nature. We're fortunate enough to live between the commons, so a crisp walk often provides me with lots of my ideas. 

This year we chose The Nutcracker. This is perhaps my favourite Christmas story, for it encompasses the essential ingredients of merriment: magic, dancing and childhood belief.

I thought about the key elements of the story: a majestic Christmas tree, snowflakes, dancing and of course the Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy. And this is what I came up with:

From top left (clockwise): red gown (£50 Charity Shop); card (£2.50, Bronte Parsonage and Museum); musical snow globe (£20, Gisela Graham); Cake Stand (£25 for a painting session at a local pottery cafe); Santa Russian Doll (£1.50 from a market in Goa, India); star tea-light holder (Cox&Cox); Bowl (White Company); wooden angel (local craft fair); Nisa man (£7.95 York); Star (handmade by my Mam); Clara and the Nutcracker (Halinka's Fairies); Christmas cake (my own, decorated with trees, ballerinas and edible glittery stars - decorations available from any good craft/cook shop).

Merry Christmas! x
On earth peace 
Good will toward men.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Lucy Choi Wedding Shoes Jimmy Choo Gold Sequin

It's a cliche, but I think Cinderella is probably my favourite Disney princess. 

I love Sleeping Beauty's hair and I still can't decide which colour I prefer for her dress, (probably the blue); Belle has that massive library and ladders to swing around on; Ariel has the best songs, the best hair and I love that sparkly dress at the end. 

But Cinderella has the glass slippers. And I defy any woman to tell me she doesn't secretly hope to one day be the owner of the foot that fits into that glass slipper.

I know, I know, it's Disney and I'm now apparently a grown-up. And really - glass slippers would be hideously uncomfortable.

But they are dazzling.

Sparkly shoes have never really gone out of fashion, but they're certainly enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity at present. From glitter and sequins to chain mail-effect, sparkle is back in a big way.

Enter Lucy Choi, niece of shoe God, Jimmy Choo. 

If you haven't heard about this woman, you must have been living under a rock. Or a mountain of dull shoes. Either way, you need to acquaint yourself - sharpish.

I visited the Telegraph Shopping Event at Fenwick Bond Street last night. As I walked in, style guru Hilary Alexander casually handed me a leaflet, then after drifting upstairs amid a delightful haze of mulled wine and mince pies, I saw the most beautiful shoes in London. 

So in awe was I that when the female assistant dressed in a black lace and sequin-embellished dress asked if I needed any help, I vacantly replied, 'no, thank you,' then returned to admiring them.

A couple of mulled wines later, my willpower abandoned me as I realised I most certainly DID have an excuse to try on the shoes: my wedding. And with this clarity of thought came the realisation that the aforementioned well-dressed 'assistant' was in fact Lucy Choi herself!

See, wine is good for the memory after all.

The shoes I tried on were the glittering gold 'Venice' courts - complete with big gold bows. They fit like a dream and felt as though I were walking on cotton wool. The heel height is 60mm, which is perfect for occasions when you're going to be on your feet (and dancing!) while also being high enough to lengthen your pins. I was sold.

As I gushed to Lucy and one of the shop assistants (and just about everyone else within earshot) about our wedding plans, the fiancĂ© was having palpitations at the prospect of the price. Imagine his relief and delight when he discovered they were £200 (no, not cheap - but, when paying for excellent craftsmanship and comfort, this is very reasonable) - and with the 20% discount they were £160 AND even better - I received a free matching clutch. Wheee!

Cinderella, eat your heart out: my shoes are sparkly AND comfy.

I'm very cross that I have to wait until October to wear them, but it will be worth it when I'm still dancing in the early hours of the morning. However, I think in the meantime - you know, just to ensure I don't wear them before the wedding - I may need to buy another pair. 

I've got my eye on these...

A gorgeous shade of steel-blue and sparkly, too. The unashamedly perfect party shoes.

Electric blue works so well at this time of year, reflecting the beautiful night skies as winter closes in. These shoes will add an edge to any outfit and provide a cool transition from work to play. 

Very on-trend and ideal for those who don't fancy donning an entirely tartan outfit. These shoes will dance you through to the New Year in style. 

So wonderful I could cry! Sexy, daring and guaranteed to receive many envious double-takes. 

This demure design is reminiscent of ballet shoes and conjures magical remembrances of snowflakes and sugarplums. Perfect for a bride, or to add a touch of added elegance to your winter frocks.

Described as the 'ultimate princess shoe'. Yep.

Teamed with black tights these are the perfect mix of court and ankle boot. I noticed Lucy was wearing these last night and they added a sharp finish to her lace dress. These will be your wardrobe staple for years to come.

(All images:

I don't know about you ladies, but I think it's time to write my letter to Santa...

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