Iconic Engagements (and we are not talking Mariah!!!)

Feb 5, 2016

So whilst everyone is going ga-ga over Mariah Carey's
engagement ring (said to be worth $7.5 million),
jeweller George Pragnell has created some stunning
info-graphics detailing some of the most iconic engagement
rings and proposals.

JFK kept Jackie Bouvier's known love of Emeralds in mind when
he picked out her yellow gold engagement ring with the help
of his Father. The ring boasts a 288 carat diamond with a 2.84
emerald flanked by 2 baguettes

Grace Kelly's stunning 10.47 carat emerald cut diamond is now valued at 
approximately $4.3 million. The Prince originally popped the question
with a more modest ring but upgraded it when he learned that actresses
of a similar calibre were walking round with much bigger rocks!

Mel Ferrer chose Audrey Hepburn a non-traditonal stacked set of
bezel rings. These are now estimated  at around $10k.

The massive diamond was originally known as The Krupp diamond but later
become known as 'The Elizabeth Taylor' diamond.
It's estimated worth is now around $8.2 million

I guess by now we all know that Prince William proposed to Kate with the beautiful
12 carat blue Ceylon sapphire ring that belonged to his mother Princess Diana.
The ring was originally purchased for $40k which is now estimated to be 
worth around $430k.

So there you have it, some iconic proposals and engagement rings.

Now despite being a lover of all things sparkly, I didn't want
an engagement ring!! Yes you read that correctly. I opted for 
designing my own wedding band with the diamonds incorporated 
into my band. Those of you that know enough about me 
know that I don't do traditional or conventional too well (much to
the anger of my Spanish mother-in-law!!!) Can you imagine?

 I also don't do delicate jewellery well as I don't have lovely
slender fingers (more chubby, little, chipolata sausages;-)
So this was an option that worked really well for me and I still
get stopped by strangers who ask me about my wedding ring some
20 years later. 

What about you? Did you have a traditional engagement ring?
If you had millions to splash would you spend it on jewellery?
Did you veer away from traditional when it came to your

Would love to hear your thoughts as always.

Images courtesy of George Pragnell and Daily Mail (UK)

Pretty in Pantone

Jan 27, 2016

I'm loving the new Pantone colours for 2016.
However, I would never normally wear either of these
colours as a main colour. But as an accent colour
I think they are gorgeous.

It's also serendipitous that some of my new jade pieces 
that went into our store in November happen to contain
Rose Quartz or Serenity Blue.

More than anything I LOVE these colours in interior design ideas
and of course sparkles!!!

Earrings in rose quartz here
I LOVE this bathroom (not sure the Mr would approve though ;-)

Black Jade Rings available here and here
Payment plans are available.
(White Jade and Rose Quartz Ring available from February)

Would love to know if you are  a fan of this years colours,
whether you would use these colours in interiors
or whether "frankly, I don't give a damn!" ;-)

Wishing you a cosy week if you are still on a 
big-freeze lockdown 


Why I Turned Down This Golden Opportunity

Jan 16, 2016

OK, so this week started the same as any
other week. I had lists everywhere of all that 
needed to be accomplished.

And then the phone rang.
It was the BBC.

What!!! Were they going to close my road 
again because they were filming some period drama
or something (which is quite typical). It couldn't
be to film scenes for Downton as that was all 
done an dusted.

However, it wasn't that.

No, they were inviting me to 
appear on Dragons Den
(the equivalent of Shark Tank in the US).

My heart sank but not for the reasons
you think.

I just knew this would never be my
kind of gig-ever.

So after chatting some time to the researcher
I politely declined.

I later spoke to friends and mentioned it
in some of the business groups I belong to, and
99% thought I was mad. 
A coward. 
A chicken.
That I would regret this for the rest of my life.
That NO publicity is bad publicity so I should
just pull my big girl pants on and get the hell 
out there……….it went on (all with
good intentions you understand).

But here's the thing. I knew immediately
this was not for me (and thankfully my
Husband verbalised everything I was feeling).

Here's why it was not for me:

* I don't fit the criteria for Dragons Den at all;
I've never applied  for outside funding or to Angel investors.

*I've not invented anything. I have a fabulous
boutique, but there is nothing innovative about
what I do; I am under no illusions

*I watch the programme every week and say to my
Husband every single time, "they could never pay me enough 
to get me on that programme!"

* the "Dragons" can be brutal and I
know it would take my confidence a long
time to recover from their public mauling

*I know these programmes need "fodder" to pad out each
programme; they need some definite "no's" to make
the programme more entertaining and the  "yes's "
more exciting. I was not prepared to be that fodder.

*I don't believe that no publicity is bad publicity.
I believe the "wrong" publicity could be bad
publicity and could seriously damage your brand;
I was not going to go down that road for 15 minutes 
of fame

More importantly I just felt it in my gut.
I've been trying to learn to be more intuitive to my
feelings and what they are actually telling me. And the
minute I knew what the phone call was about I knew
it was not for me. Let me just say I am the MOST 
indecisive person you can meet. It can take me a 
whole day to decide what book to read next. It can
take me hours to decide whether to exercise or not (by
which time I am too exhausted too anyway!)

So for me to feel so strongly that this was the wrong
publicity for me was a coup in itself.

But here's the thing. Despite all the fab arguments
my friends and acquaintances put forward (and they all
had my best interests at heart-every single
one of them) it just felt wrong for 

It's a lesson I am going to take forward this year,
the skills of which I am still trying to develop.

Despite what the pragmatic, logical self may be saying,
if the "feeling" doesn't resonate (or does resonate), then
I should only act then, and not act out of fear i.e this 
opportunity may never happen again.

I would love to know your thoughts and when you went
against your gut feelings only to be disappointed.

Do you believe that sometimes our feelings tell 
us more than the left side of our brain?

As always would love to hear your thoughts

WInter Wishes

Jan 8, 2016

Firstly Happy New Year Lovelies.
I am a bit late to the party, but then I 
usually am.

So it's 2016, the festivities are over, and
all I seem to hear around me are people bemoaning
the fact that it's getting colder and colder (here in Europe)
after a very unusually mild December.

But here's the thing-I LOVE Winter.
It's supposed to be cold in January, isn't it?
Having lived in the Med for 14+ years 
where there never seemed to be any distinct 
seasons, I now love Winter.

I just love and wish for you also:

*wearing coats and layers (which
hide a multitude of sins underneath)

Rings and earrings here and here

*weekend lockdowns, when you can
refuse to go anywhere or see anyone and 
it's deemed perfectly acceptable

*cold, frosty walks that really rattle your bones
but make you feel so alive

*piles of crisp, new books

*atmospheric skies that look a tropical 
blue one minute and like Armageddon the

*the luxe of cashmere and cosy

Rings here

*simplicity on all levels

*first footsteps in freshly fallen snow

*walking in the rain

*receiving and writing thank you notes

*roaring fireplaces

*watching rain batter the window from
the safety of your own snug home

*the perfect hot drink at just the right time

But most of all I wish for you the
final realisation that……….

I Wish For You…………..

Dec 21, 2015

This Christmas I wish for you……………….

*the joy of finding beauty in all it's many guises.


* the joy of just being and not worrying about
the next thing on your list.

*the joy of creating and accumulating memories
rather than things

*belly laughs

*your favourite Christmas films

*cocktails you would never dream of drinking
any other time of the year

*quiet moments to reflect on how blessed you really

*the joy of time

More than anything I wish you a wonderful
Christmas in whatever form that means for you .
If it means solitude with family, wild and crazy
or all of the above, I hope you are able to become
that little girl again that saw the magic and  wonder
in everything. 

As always I thank you for always being at my side;
my rants, my tears (this year has seen a lot of tears)
 and my happy times.

Hope you will continue during

Love you all and keep sparkling


Same Old Same Old?

Dec 12, 2015

Ok Lovelies, it's usually about this time of year we start
thinking about how the next year is going to be different.

Oh God! I am the biggest culprit; new journals
to write in, new lists of resolutions, new mantra's
to chant, a promise to blog more often, a promise to 
eliminate wheat, carbs, sugar, resolutions next year
..........you know how it goes.

But stay with me on this. 2015 was completely different.
One man completely changed my thought processes, my 
business and every aspect of my life.

It was the beginning of 2015. 
Ten days into the New YearI lost my beloved Dad.
The grief and anguish that consumed me
was more than I could have ever anticipated.
I was already ready to give up on 2015 and retreat under 
my duvet for the rest of the year, I didn't want to go on.

As for my business? Sparkles was the last thing on my
mind. I could barely drag myself through the day.

Enter Todd Herman.

You most probably have never heard of him.
He coaches Olympic athletes, billionaires, the
Spanish Royal Family..........the list goes on.

Here's what happened.
Whilst in my grief-ridden  "stupor" I saw a video of
Todd's for his 90 day year programme (call
it serendipity).

It was quite a lengthy video, but having a Psychology
background there was something about what he was saying
that really resonated. So I signed up for the 
4 free launch videos.  I was mesmerised 
by what I was hearing. I would get up to
re-watch the videos when I couldn't sleep and just 
make copious notes on what this man was saying; 
how did this man know the exact mistakes
I was making in my business-I had never
met him?  How did he know about
the same things I kept meaning to change, 
but didn't?

This is when I started to get really intrigued.

Then the doors opened for the 90 day course. 
My Husband was watching the videos with me. So
when the doors opened for this programme I said to
my Husband I couldn't possibly do the programme 
I was too steeped in my grief to care about 
my business right now. My Husband then said 
"have you thought that this could be the 
perfect thing to start moving you out of the emotional quicksand?"

What did he know? He still had both his parents. He couldn't possibly
know what I was going through; how much I
hated the world and my business. What was the point anyway?

But he was right in some respects when
he said "you don't know what you don't know".

So after much pondering and backwards and forwards, I
signed up (let me just tell you it was very reluctantly).

 MAAAAANNNNN! this programme
turned my life and my business upside down.
It was the most incredible programme 
I have ever participated
in (and I don't say this lightly).

My Husband was right, you don't know
what you don't know.

Let me tell you, if you have a blog that you monetize,
are a female entrepreneur, or thinking about making
big changes in your life, then I PROMISE you with 
all my heart, you need to consider this programme.

It's a programme you can keep doing every 90 days
as you watch REAL changes taking place in your life.
It really is a rinse and repeat strategy.
But what was worth it's weight in gold was the 
networking you get to do in the private Facebook group;
other entrepreneurs, millionaires and even billionaires, and
the group coaching calls with Todd. 
What I learnt from my peers in the programme was
more than I can put into words.

As an aside, 2015 saw me lose my Dad,
sort out all of his estate, deal with probate,
deal with a greedy sibling, sell 2 properties,
buy 2 properties, liaise with 3 different
lawyers at any one time, move to the other side 
of the country AND my business revenue
DOUBLED in 90 days which also
included a feature in ELLE magazine!!!!!

Do yourself a favour and just watch Todd's first video,
then if your interest is piqued sign up to watch the other three 
(they are all FREE) and see if you can see why I am 
raving about this man and his programme.
Even if you decide this is not the right time for you,
there is still SO much content in his videos that you 
can take away with you.

As I said before I have NEVER endorsed any programme 
before, but I don't want you to keep making the same mistakes
I was making year in and year out.

Make 2016 REALLY different and don't just give
the New Year lip service.

Here's the link:

Don't delay as the doors close on 17 December.
So if you do nothing else this weekend, just watch
the launch videos and decide for yourself if you are 
prepared to let yet another year pass by achieving only
a fraction of what you had planned too.

My Dad's sudden death made me realise we don't
really have as much time as we think.
So make 2016 count.
Don't invest in empty promises and

If you want to have a more detailed chat about
the programme, feel free to email, tweet me.........
whatever you wish. But don't let 2016 pass you by like
so many other years have.

If you only buy yourself one thing in 2016, let it be this.

Here's the link again:


Dreamy Cream

Nov 24, 2015

I am a firm believer in keeping
things beautifully simple.

Sometimes luxe textures are all you need :-)

Monique L'Hullier

Ralph Lauren (I so need this jacket in my life!)

How gorgeous will these beauties look;
adding a little colour to your cream?

black jade gemstone statement/cocktail rings

A dome of luxuriant quartz gemstone sitting proudly
aloft the sensuous hues of black jade.

black jade gemstone drop earrings

Black jade drop earrings that ooze chicness, sexiness
and a mysterious allure for the woman wearing them.

Do you go for simplicity or are you
more a fashion renegade-mixing colours
and textures to suit your style?

Do you ever wear cream and would you
be brave enough to buy a  milky, creamy coat?

As always I love hearing your thoughts

Where Are You?

Nov 16, 2015

I actually saw this quote many moons ago (long before Steve Jobs died)
and it seemed to sear a place into my brain that never left.
It haunted me for many years when my pay cheque was much
larger than my desire to keep doing what I was doing.

It's the one quote/perspective that made me make big
career changes when everyone else was telling me I was nuts
(and to be honest I also felt like I had lost the plot).

It's now a question I can answer a resounding YES to every day
(even the days when I am pulling my hair out and over dosing 
on chocolate cake to numb the stress!!!)

Where are you?
Have you just started your journey to YES?
Are you already there?
Do you believe there is no such place?

Would love to hear you views as always
Happy week Lovelies


That Old Black Magic

Oct 29, 2015

Those of you who have been following
my blog for some time know I love nothing
more than black (ok perhaps chocolate cake
is up there also ;-)

black, Halloween

So here is a round up of darkly beautiful things that 
will always put a smile on my face

black, Halloween, Valentino
black, Halloween
Embossed Python Clutch from one of my favourite shops in NYC-Gigi New York

black, Halloween, black jewellery
     1. BELINA
2. EVA 

black, Halloween

Stunning John Rocha Waterford Crystal black flute

black, Halloween, black macaroons

black, Halloween

black, Halloween
Wouldn't just love to have a spin in this?
black, Halloween, black jewellery, black rings

4.BELINA (Silver)

My favourite description of what black means to me ;-)

Happy Halloween my little pumpkins