It Wasn't Supposed To End Like This

Jan 19, 2015


The last 10 days has been very hard as I lost
my beloved Dad.

As those of you know who have read my ramblings for some years,
my Husband and I left our life overseas to return to the UK
to care and be with him (about 2.5 years ago)


But it wasn't supposed to end so soon.
We still had so many things to do together.
We still had so many things to laugh about.
He promised me he would be home soon…………..
but he never came.

This was not how I planned everything

This was not what was written in MY script.

Nobody warned me it would happen like this or be
this painful.

I know I'm a big girl now. 
I lost my Mum at quite a young age.
So I should be strong, shouldn't I?
I should know what happens?
I should know how painful grief is?

But this time it feels SO different.

Why?



So now I just need some time to deal with practicalities,
manage my own emotions and reflect on what I had
and what I lost.

Please excuse my absence from my own blog 
(I will still be checking in to all your blogs and 
on other social media platforms), but I think I will
need some time before I can start writing my own blog again.

I might just need 2 weeks, or 1 month, or even 2 months.
Only time will tell.
But I will be back ;-)


xxxxx

Here We Are Again

Jan 4, 2015


So the festivities are over already.
Where did the time go?
I must have been really enjoying myself.
Actually no! It was a very bittersweet time for me
as my lovely Dad was in hospital and ironically took a 
turn for the worst on Christmas Day (his favorite 
day of the year).

As those of you who have been following me
for some time know I left my life in Spain
to come and look after my Dad in the UK.

Despite how much I was hurting inside,
I wanted to do the very British "stiff upper lip" thing.
I'm not good at being overtly emotional (something
I found quite hard whilst living in Spain as the Spanish
have no problems showing very strong emotions
in front of anyone and everyone).




But I also know how much my Husband
LOVES Christmas and how many wonderful
events he had planned (if you follow me on
Instagram you would have seen some
of them there). So I felt I had to hold
it together (which I am quite good at doing). 
I think that comes with years of training
as a Criminal Pyschologist where
all emotion was eradicated from my working day ;-)

Anyway, I digress.
All that aside, I am still looking forward
to whatever 2015 holds for me and my loved ones.
Whatever it brings, I know it will teach me more
invaluable lessons and hopefully make me a better person :-)



Consequently I wish for ALL of us……….

*the joy of no resolutions

*the joy of NOT permanently being in a rush,
battling our way to every new finish line

*the joy of knowing tomorrow always brings with
it new chances and opportunities. Not everything
has to be done today.




*the joy of abandoning to-do lists and instead creating
"achieved" lists

*the joys of camera-less moments you didn't
expect but which will stay in your memory
for a very long time

*the joy of purging; be it your email, your Instagram feed,
your closet…….whatever makes you feel lighter

*the joy of wearing sparkles and sequins even after
the last bauble has been put away.


*the joy of the smell and feel of new books 
(you just don't get that with a Kindle ;-)

*the joy of more belly laughs

*the joy of more dreaming

*the joy of  snow

*the joy of more hugs

*the joy of more snatched and
tender moments that make you
feel warm and fuzzy

Happy 2015 lovely ladies.
xxxxxx

This Christmas I Wish For You……………….

Dec 22, 2014


My God, I can't believe how quickly the BIG DAY is 
nearly upon us. I hope you didn't get too
wrapped up in the manic-ness of it all.

This Christmas I really wish for you:

* the joy of being able to really kick
back and enjoy the moment



*the joy of not worrying about perfection, but
instead knowing that it will all turn out
OK in the end (so what
if you forgot the cranberry sauce. That is not
what you will remember most in 5 years time ;-)

*the joy of no more to-do lists



*the joy of being with the ones that really matter
(not necessarily those you feel you have to be with ;-)

*the joy of seeing the happiness YOU give to others

*the joy of  belly laughs, tears of happiness and
child-like wonder

*the joy of making time to steal those kisses and cuddles
with your loved ones


* the joy of making fab memories that will
stay with you long after the wrapping has all been thrown
and your Instagram feed has moved on ;-)

* the joy of  receiving (some of us find it difficult to
receive gifts, compliments, surprises……..anything. 
Sometimes we areso focused on the giving, 
that we forget it is OK to
accept and be pampered also.


*the joy of candle-lit lunches and dinners 
(food always seems to taste better in candle-light).

*the joy of  slushy Christmas films 

*the joy of finding quiet moments to reflect and soak 
it all in

*the joy of "no technology" days




Finally I would like to thank you for always
being at my side in this humble space I call 
my blog. I am not a writer and sometimes
find it difficult to come up with anything of value.

So I appreciate every single one of you who make
time to visit. I know how "time-starved" we all are,
so it means even more to me to think I have people
even reading my ramblings ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and
nothing but the best for 2015.




Year by year it's all unclear, but day
by day we WILL  find a way.

xxxxxxxx

Give Yourself This Gift (it only takes 35 minutes)!

Dec 18, 2014

OK, I know tis' the season to be jolly, and the 
last think you want to be thinking about is anything
negative BUT this interview
popped into my Inbox this week 
and it literally
BLEW MY MIND.

I want to ask you to give yourself
the gift of just 35 minutes and listen to this interview.

It will make you SO angry (especially the
first 10 minutes where she discloses something
about how our medical system works, that left
me truly flabbergasted) but I hope it will empower you.

Even if you do nothing with the information you
hear, and just allow it to "incubate" until the
New Year, I BEG YOU to please listen to this.
As some of you know (who have been reading my blog
a while), I lost my Mum to cancer at the age of 48.

I have lost friends also, and I am sure some of 
us know of families who will be spending
this Christmas without someone they lost 
to the BIG C this year.

PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS FOR THEM.


I know my family will be doing back-flips as I
come from a long-line of medics!
They were appalled when I stopped having
annual mammograms 10 years ago (she talks about
this in the interview also)

However, I would love to know your thoughts 

xxxxxx

Posh In Pearls

Dec 15, 2014

The Duchess of Cambridge was once again flying the flag for Britain
during her whistle-stop trip to the USA last week.

Kate is becoming known as the "recycling" Princess in 
the British press, but wearing something more than once hardly warrants the 
tag "recycling" ;-)

Nonetheless I think she looked as elegant as always in a
gorgeous cashmere navy coat by Goat and her familiar Annousha Ducas 
pearl earrings.


Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, New York 2014, pearl earrings, Annoushka Ducas


It is not the first time that the pearl earrings have 
accompanied the Duchess on a tour. 
They were very much a feature when she toured 
Australia last Spring.

Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Australia 2014, pearl earrings, Annoushka Ducas


The pearl earrings are by Annoushka Ducas 
who founded the globally recognized Links of London.


pearl earrings, Annoushka Ducas, Kate Middleton, diamonds,
These gorgeous beauties cost approx £1,000/$1500.
The earrings feature gold hoops with a black rhodium finish
and diamonds all set along the spine.

Yes please Santa!!!

Would love to hear your view on Kate's style.
What do you think about a Princess "re-cycling"? Do
you like the earrings? Nothing special? 
Just a normal pair of
pearl earrings?

I am not a pearl wearer, so don't really
have a view other than they look very
regal, and that is something she always
has to be mindful of (she can hardly start
wearing loud and proud "chandeliers" when
on royal duty).

However is she dressing older than  her years?
Could she still be regal but with a younger vibe
ie Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco?
I personally think she has it right, but as
always would love to hear your views.


xxxx


p.s Update:
Do you remember I wrote a couple of weeks ago about
how I get asked constantly for products by bloggers I don't even
follow (here).
Well, one such blogger emailed me in September asking
for one of our leopard rings.
I dutifully "ignored" the email.
Guess what? I got another email from "blogger
in question" saying "I haven't received my ring yet".
I was so flabbergasted I just had to laugh.
I did reply saying, you were never told you were
going to be sent the ring. She replied saying she thought
by me not replying that was me "being OK" with sending it!!!

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RED HOT MAMMA!

Dec 8, 2014

So December has arrived and it's the month
that suddenly sees me want to adorn myself in every 
shade of red imaginable; from flaming
crimson to blazing cinnabar.

Armani Privé


I don't know what it is, but I suddenly want to
channel my inner Mrs Claus and wear red wherever 
and whenever possible (a color I never wear the rest
of the year).

Christmas dresses, red dresses, Elie Saab, red, sparkles
Elie Saab

The need for red talons and lips become a requirement.
I never wear red lipstick or nail varnish any other time
 until the "month of madness" is upon us, and then I
feel the need to become Cruella deVille

red, red lipstick, Dior lipstick


jimmy choo, red, red shoes, Christmas, red heels
Give me the Choos!

red jewelry, red jewellery, red earrings, chandelier earrings, red chandelier earrings
Have you met Zita? She also come in yellow gold

These beauties are available here



So are you like me when it comes to wearing this season's
feistiest shade, or do you avoid it at all costs?
Or perhaps you wear it all year round?
Would love to hear your thoughts as always

xxxxxxxx




The Shopping Test I Swear By

Nov 26, 2014

It's that time of year when the shopping frenzy really begins
especially as the Black Friday sales loom -which have
now reached this side of the pond despite us not
celebrating Thanksgiving (go figure!)


This is when we can get caught out buying because it's
on sale.

I really am not great in the sales.

I still think twice before buying anything for
myself. I guess I still have my Mum's dulcette
tones ringing in my ears when she gave me these
wise words.
" Go home and sleep on it. If you are
still thinking about it 48 hours later, that means
you really want it" (but not necessarily need it of course).

YSL oversized bag. On my Santa listed and passed the 48 hour test ;-)

I have used this technique so many times and 
you can be sure 24 hours later, I can't even
remember what it was I wanted to buy ;-)

Something I promise I would never forget in 48 hours (Valentino)

I think it's great to remember that what we 
buy represents how we see ourselves, and how we
wish for others to see us.

You're a smart cookie and let the world know it.



Would love to know your thoughts on shopping.
Are you an impulse buyer?
A throw-away-after-one- season kind of girl?

Do you go armed to the sales knowing exactly what
you want (list in hand, body armor on!) or do you
decide when you see it?


When was the last time you had buyers remorse?
I would love to hear 

Finally to all my American friends, Happy
Thanksgiving for tomorrow.

xxxxxx

Save Your Haggling For Morocco

Nov 19, 2014


OK, here's the thing that's been bugging
me for some time.

Many of my wonderful blogging friends are creatives
of some shape or form, whether they sell gorgeous oils 
like Lou, or the most amazing cashmere like
Catherine (whose cashmere poncho has become
by new BFF this winter relegating Hubs to second 
place); even if you are a fashion stylist like
Sharron or the lovely Nichola, or your 
art is in your writing (too
many lovelies to link too but check my Blogroll on
the side bar), or you are just trying to
add a little design, color and sparkle to someone's
day like me
We are all creatives in some shape of form.

So it really bugs me when people feel they have a right
to try and barter our prices down, or haggle
over a product they want.

Hey! I love a good bargain, but I would never
barter with small businesses or creatives.

In the same way if I was having something bespoke
made, I would never haggle. I know that the reason
the price is higher than Target or Walmart is because
I am buying into the whole "process" of something 
being created just for me.

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Hayden Williams

Even if you are a stylist people are paying to tap into
your knowledge and for you to create a look for them.
Therefore, we should respect that and NOT haggle or
negotiate over the price.

I find it really offensive sometimes.
You see I get between 5-10 emails a week from
bloggers asking me for FREE products!

Some of these  bloggers have NEVER even read my
blog, certainly never commented. So never having taken the
time to build a relationship with me, but then they feel
they have the "right" to ask for a free product as they
are a "fashion blogger"? Am I missing something here?

Some have blog stats that you can count on one hand!
But that's not really the issue for me. It's the fact that they
feel I should be "privileged" that they "found me" on the
Internet.

I was always astounded by their audacity.
A couple of times I turned the tables and said
they could have a product if they show me
their stats, or they can have a product
if they pay the trade price.

Of course you never see them again for dust!
They just wanted the freebie.

Here's the thing. When you give someone something for free
 (and it's not given as a gift from you), you de-value
your product/service/time.

People never appreciate something they are
given for free. Even if they have to pay a
nominal amount, they will value the object/
service/person MORE than if they pay nothing.

Other times I have had customers who contact
me saying they like a particular piece, but THEY think
the price should be X!!!

Whooooooa! Hold on Tiger!
 Are you serious?
Would they walk into Neiman Marcus or
Selfridges in the UK and say to the store manager
they would like to purchase X but only if the price is
what they think it should be?



C'mon people get a grip!
If you want to haggle then go to your local market
or ebay (Morocco is also a good place if you like
haggling ;-)

But if you are buying from an artist who is selling their 
product or service that they live, sleep and breathe through,
then don't haggle.

If you want cheap and mass-produced, then there
are places where you can buy such products with
prices that reflect this.

So this holiday season my wonderful friends,
don't let customers negotiate your worth.

You have set your price for a reason, and if
that sets you apart from the mass--produced
tat that some of the bigger stores sell, then
be proud about it. 

The RIGHT customers
who know value, and who know your worth
WILL find you and they will never negotiate with you.



I would love to hear your thoughts on this (whether you are a creative
or a even "professional haggler ;-"- 
I know they exist. My sister is one of them ;-)




p.s
Pop over to the blog of stylist Nichola  and read why I say "go bold or go home" this party season ;-)

Embellish Boldly

Oct 30, 2014


Well this week sees the introduction of more sparkles into 
our boutique just in time for Santa to start taking notes ;-)


These gorgeous pieces are by a Greek designer whose designs
have been in Vogue magazine and Deluxe magazine ( to name a few).

It was simply by chance we came into contact; she contacted me
and asked me to look at her portfolio and I "dangerously"
fell in love with everything ;-)








These are just the first lot of designs added this week to our boutique.
There are plenty more on their way.

All the ring designs have a matching pendant and are all exquisitely crafted
in silver, gold vermeil and embellished with Swarovski crystals.

Each design is made to order.

These pieces will really turn heads this party season (and 
for all the right reasons ;-)


This will be in our boutique later this week

I am offering my blog readers a $60 discount off any piece
for a very limited time.
Your discount code is AMARIS-60 and your
discount code expires on  Sunday 9 NOVEMBER.

So if you are interested get your
little booty over here



I would love to know what you think of  my new offerings
and also just how your week has been 
xxxx


The Wonders Of This Week

Oct 24, 2014

I seem to be writing more and more of these types of
post as I start to take notice of all the 
"wonders" around me (it's a really nice feeling too ;-)


This week saw the joy of:

*"I see! I get it!"

*long phone calls with your BFF about nothing

*the joy of conversations (with BFF) which
are impossible for others to understand ;-)


*the joy of Godiva chocolate and crocanti dipped
strawberries bought for me by "Hubalicious"






*the joy of being in the flow;losing all 
sense of time and place



*the joy of being on a "news-diet" for the last
5+ years and knowing I made the right decision

* the joy of finding the last designer label sweater
in your size AND color

* the joy of  open fires and warm textiles




* the joy of taking of your heels off after a LONG day


*the joy of just being cosy



*the joy of feeling everything eventually connects

*the joy of  online shopping ;-)



Do share some of your "wonders/joys" this week

Happy Weekend Lovelies
xxxxx




Wise Words

Oct 16, 2014



These are just some of the wise words
I "try" (try being the operative ;-)
to live by.

This was very much my Mum's mentality (even when we were 
at school). There was just no way I could play hooky ;-)
This mentality has subsequently stayed with me and helped me achieve
so many things I thought were impossible.



Don't you just wish more people would do this?



This quote sums up one of my biggest fears in life.




What wise words do you try to live by?
xxxxx


p.s despite losing my Mum at a very young age to cancer
I NEVER support cancer charities. Pop over to this post
I wrote last year that proved quite controversial and read
why ;-)

The Wonders Of This Week

Oct 9, 2014


Those of you who have followed me for a while
know that Autumn is really one of my favorite seasons.

I have lived in a country that really only had 2 seasons- 
Winter and Summer. This really made me appreciate the wonders
of Autumn.


Here are some of  the joys  of my week.

* long walks in the forest with only the crunch
of the leaves for company

* flushed, cold cheeks

*revisiting old books and finding
hidden gems you missed the first time around

* homemade, rustic comfort food


*an excuse to wear cashmere
(and waiting anxiously for
notification from Catherine Robinson
that my cashmere poncho is back in stock)

*listening to the rain beating against my bedroom
window and knowing I don't have to get up
just yet if I don't want to


*going back to my luxurious creamy
face creams (who I unfaithfully ditched
during the warmer months).

Body oils, hair oils, facial oils,
home fragrance oils, olive oil,,,,,,,,,,
Autumn makes we want to break out the 
oils (of every description).

*the joy of always having someone to share
things with

* the joy of receiving an unexpected gift

*the joy of watching my garden slowly start to
"shut down" for the winter

*hot chocolate


*seeing 2 of my new ring designs in production
and feeling like  a new mother about to give birth
(OK, I know it's not quite the same ;-)

*rainbows

*the cake that emerged golden and beautifully dome
shaped, and stayed that way

*decadent TV


Stunning Madeira Garnet earrings available here
Here's your $35.00 off discount code
(BLOG 35)
Offer ends October 16th 2014


Would love to hear what made your heart sing this week
xxx