Silver Linings

Sep 24, 2020

Hello my friends!

What a very long time it has been.
In that time so much has happened, I can't even begin.

One of the worst was losing someone very close to me during this
first part of the pandemic.

It was such a shock and I still don't believe it has happened.
Not being able to attend a funeral (only virtually) just makes it
all feel like a dream.

I also know so many people that have suffered terrible, terrible things
whether it be related to the pandemic or otherwise.

Have there been any silver linings then?


Well I have been desperately trying to keep
busy and my business has been chugging along nicely.

During lockdown I decided to make some Liberty print masks using
a 3D pattern. I started to make them for family and friends as little unexpected 
surprises that they would receive. 

Then it all went crazy, and then friends of friends, of
friends wanted to know how they could buy them.

And so an addition was born.


See more here



Liberty London, face coverings, masks

Me and my mask (excuse my wind-blown hair!)


But here is why I made them:

* the disposable mask were damaging my skin. I have never suffered with
skin breakouts even in my teens, and here I was suffering with it now.

* the black masks, along with my black hair made me look like I 
about to commit some terrible crime.

*I could never talk with the disposable masks on; they would either start to slip
down my face and try to strangle me, or I just found it impossible to breathe.

So a new idea was born.

So why Liberty fabric?

Liberty London fabric, liberty print,

So those that know me, or have followed me for some time know I have a deep affinity
with Liberty London. 
Both my Mum and Godmother were Buyers for Liberty in the 70's and 80's. 
So whenever I have to choose fabric for anything, Liberty is my first choice.
The quality is fabulous.



My mask even made it onto the golf course of Marbella, Spain.


So why do I feel my masks stack up against the others?


*these are made in authentic Liberty London 100% cotton.

*they are made with 4 layers of fabric (the medical recommendations).

*100% quality cotton means your skin can still breathe. You won't get mask acne/bad skin with these on.

* they stay up; they don't slip off the face, because of the inner flaps which go over the nose and over the chin (see below) 

* you can speak perfectly and clearly with them on.


The best thing about them?

International shipping is free at the moment.

So if you fancy learning more, pop over here where you will

also see all the fabric choices (and more will be added).


So there you have it, something good that came out of this crazy time.

Here in the UK lockdown measures seem to be continuing at least until

the Spring. So I think it is going to be a long old Winter.


To end her are some lovely Autumn pieces to bring some sparkle to your day.


autumn accessories, acorns, acorn earrings, Autumnal
here

hoops, hoop earrings, leaf design, statement earrings

here


Autumn accessories, fall earrings, fall accessories, oak leaves, autumn leaves, Autumnal,
here

Do drop me a line and let me know how you have been, how you

have been coping and any silver linings that have come your way.

Big hugs as always.





Forget Hygge. It's All About Umbuntu!

Apr 3, 2020


As most of you know, I am of South African heritage and you can read more about my great grandmother who was a Gemologist here.
But there is one word that South Africans (of older generations) always declare and that is "Umbuntu". 
The meaning is "I am, because of you". and nowhere are we seeing this more than right now.
It's a recognition that we are all connected in ways that may be invisible to the eye; there is a oneness to humanity that we achieve by sharing with others, something we are seeing daily on all media platforms. How "sharing is caring" is showing up more than ever. From big cooperations to the smallest independent businesses, everyone is reaching out a helping hand.
We can see people both young and old, family, friends and strangers all finding ways to be more there for each other during these testing and very strange times. 
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, (as presented in the American psychologist’s five-tier pyramid), he suggests that love and belonging are essential to our survival.
I shall leave that thought with you.
Stay safe Lovely!









LUXURIA LOCKDOWN LOVES

Mar 31, 2020




Now  we are all in some form of isolation, I thought I would use this opportunity to bring you some of the things that are bringing me joy at this difficult time, in the hope you can take something from it also.
LEARNING:
Now is a great time to dabble in topics and subjects you have always been interested in. 
The University of Yale is now offering it's most popular course 'The Science of Well-Being' and you  can register for a FREE

One I plan on joining is Masterclass (you have probably seen the Anna Wintour ads floating around Instagram). This is a paid subscription but it has some of the best instructors in the industry such as Gordon Ramsey, Anna Wintour, Bobbi Brown........the list goes on, and I plan to get stuck in ;-)
Working Out With:
So if you are at home and cannot get to a gym or a class, then exercising at home is your only option.
I found Melissa Wood on Instagram about 3 months ago and here workouts are fabulous; mainly Pilates and Yoga based but also working with weights, exercise balls etc. I love her workouts because some are 15 mins, some are 45 mins. Or you can mix and match and create your own. 
There is a monthly subscription of $9.99/month. But it is minimal when you consider what a good gym membership is.
PAMPER:
The name says it all. 'The Martini'.
This is a bath soak by GOOP and is supposed to:
*take the edge off turbulent times
*centres the body and spirit
*helps to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.
I have used it and I love it. I am not a huge bath fan (I prefer a good power shower), but this is slowly converting me ;-)
Listening To:
I am an avid reader, but I have slowly been converted to audio books over the last 2-3 years.
 I love listening to audio books because it means I can listen when doing other things. I also find I retain more when I listen rather than just read (maybe that is just an age thing ;-)
Here are some of my favourite audio books I am listening to or re-listening to at the moment. They are all non-fiction as I don't tend to read or listen to fiction at the moment.
I won't link them all. But you can find them all on AUDIBLE

* The Surrender Experiment (Michael Singer)
* The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer)
*The Happiness Advantage (Shawn Achor)
*Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert)
*Girl Stop Apologising (Rachel Hollis)
*The Beautiful No (Sheri Salata)
*Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Dr David Hawkins)
I hope you find one you like that you may not have even considered before.
Pursuing The Pretty:
I'm not sure about you, but in times of "crisis" I need things to cheer me up and just make me happy. And this is one of my "non-essentials" that I know I will make use of in Spring  and Summer because let's face it, Spring and Summer will still be arriving.
You can get up close and personal with these beauties here
So there you have it!
I hope you enjoy some of the things that are bringing me a little joy.
Keep safe.

Everything Is Coming Up Daisies

Mar 9, 2020

Has Spring arrived where you are?
It hasn't where I am and there doesn't look like much sign of it next week either!
So to help us imagine Spring is on its way, I wanted to talk about flower-power.


Floral designs are still everywhere 


Mulberry

However, I'm not sure about you but in the past I tended to keep
away from florals. I always feel that if you don't know how to pick
the right pieces you could either look like someone's spinster Great-Aunt
or a remnant from the 60's! So I've always steered clear.

However, if you are still unsure of doing the whole floral get-up
then why not just add a floral piece that will still bring you
on-trend but not in such a conspicuous way.

If you want to follow the daisy trend as Kate Middleton did (without having to sell
one of your children or a kidney) then I think you
might like these:


Kate last week in Ireland wearing Daisy Earrings from Asprey
Cost: £17k


These are more affordable and just as pretty (in my humble opinion).



All here



That's it lovely ladies.
Love to hear from you as always
xxxx




p.s a little something to make you chuckle

Things I've Loved So Far This Year

Feb 22, 2020






So January and February can be tricky months for some people; 
the Winter seems never ending and there is still very little indication that Spring
is on the way.   
However, I love these months. I really hunker down and literally
go into hibernation from the rest of the world (I am sure I must have been a bear
in another life!).

So here are some things that brought me joy over the last two months.



This has got to be the most amazing skin balm I have ever used. 
It was recommended by Gwenyth Paltrow in her Gift Guide at the 
end of the year.  But I found it much earlier by hearing the creator talking 
on one of my favourite podcasts-The Ikonns (episode 51). Just hearing what the creator
May Lindstrom went through before even bringing this product to life was just
so inspiring.  The balm itself is quite expensive BUT it will last you a long time as you 
need a small amount. Plus it soothes not only the skin, but the mind.





I love listening to podcast and audio books because it means I can do other
things whilst listening.

So here are two podcasts I listen to "religiously".

i) The Sheri and Nancy Show. This is really one of my faves. It's with Sheri Salata (who
used to be the Exec Producer of the Oprah Show, and her best friend from childhood.

It's just such a breath of fresh air as they talk about how they want to reignite the 8 pillars 
for a joyous life. The explain what the 8 pillars are and they also have a really
engaged Facebook group. 

They also have the most amazing guests and they talk about everything
from the woo-woo to going plant-based and everything in between
(plus they are soooo funny).

I can't wait for their weekly episodes to drop.

ii) The other podcast I love is The Ikonns (which I mentioned above).
They are a Canadian couple who moved to London and are just so
inspiring in what they have achieved. Anyone who thinks "Millenniels"
are "snow-flakes" just needs to go and listen to their podcast. 

The guests they have are so amazing, but I also love the episodes 
when this Husband and Wife team are just chatting between themselves.




I don't often watch that much TV. But I have "binge-watched" quite a few things on
Netflix which are a  real first for me. So my faves have been:

i) Shine On with Reese Witherspoon (Reese interviews some of the most inspiring women 
from female film Director Ava Du Vaney to one of my faves Dolly Parton). 
It's only a short series, but I loved every woman she interviewed.

ii) If you want to watch a good suspense thriller, it has be The Stranger.
OMG!!! I have recommended this to SO many friends who then cursed me
when their housework, cooking, to-do list, good intentions all got swept
to the wayside as they got hooked on this series. Go and watch it. It will
have you gasping to the end.

iii) In the same vein as ii) and also by the writer Harlen Corben, it's called 
Safe. Again, don't expect anything to get done for about 8 hours (admittedly
I watched it over a course of a week, but I had to force myself each time
to turn the damn thing off!)




OK, I hate working out. I mean seriously hate it. But this year I decided to 
make small changes (not say I am going to run a marathon when I can't even run
for a bus if my life depended on it!). 

So I found Melissa Wood Health by accident on Instagram. 
What I love about her workouts are they are yoga/pilates based, and they each last about
15-20 mins. So you can do one or however many you feel a desire to do.

Even if you just do a 20 minute session you really feel your muscles have been worked.
There are SO many videos to choose from, so you never get bored. 
I love that you can just do it from your computer wherever you are.
It is subscription based. But it costs something like $9/month.
I did the free-trial and loved it so much I signed up immediately.
And guess what? I actually love doing my workouts 4-5 times per week.
Who would have thought!




I loved seeing Kate Middleton wearing some of my fave earrings at the 
moment-drop leaf earrings.
I am loving my own version ;-)

Mine are a little longer and also come in silver. 
I also have a range of leaf jewellery, so if you don't like
ferns but fancy something else, take a look here 

But seeing her in these this week really made me smile.


So that's it for now.
Would love to know if any of my recommendations are new or not
for you. And as always I would love to read your comments.


Keep safe and warm 
(storms still raging here in the UK)

Van
xxxxx




Hairbands Are Having A Moment.

Feb 13, 2020

As shown by Salma Hayek at the Oscars last Sunday.



Yes lovely lady. 
She is wearing an "olive" hairband that is very, very similar to mine.

The only difference would be that you don't have to sell 
one of your children, or a kidney to buy mine.

However, she does show that hairbands are having their moment 
and not just for weddings and 7 year olds!
Women of a certain age can also rock a  hairband.

So here are some of my picks that I think will decorate
women of any age without making you look like
the proverbial "mutton".

gold olive headbands, wedding headbands, bridesmaid hair accessories, wedding accessories

When thoughts turn to Tuscan olive groves and wafting kaftans. 

gold olive headbands, wedding headbands, bridesmaid hair accessories, bridal hair accessories

Just add a floaty dress or your fave jeans and t'shirt and 
you are good to go. 


rhodium silver headbands, wedding headbands, bridesmaid hair accessories, bridal hair accessories
Fun with ferns.
Keep it casual with this beauty.


gold floral headbands, floral wedding headbands, floral bridesmaid hair accessories, floral wedding accessories
Crazy about Crysanths.


gold floral headbands, floral wedding headbands, floral bridesmaid hair accessories, floral wedding accessories

Go dainty with Mimosas

gold floral headbands, floral wedding headbands, floral bridesmaid hair accessories, floral wedding accessories

When you need some petal power.

These are my picks.
I would love to hear what you think, and if you
are embracing the head-band trend.

xxxxx