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

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 ;-)

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 

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

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?

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 ;-)


*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

Happy Weekend

Oct 3, 2014

How true is this?

I DO  have plans though: 

*catching up on all my magazine reading (and 
coming to terms with the fact that there is no longer
a chance for me to be Mrs Clooney :-(
*catching up on last weeks episode of Downton Abbey and 
Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares
*trawling through my recipe books for warming 
Autumn recipes
*lunch with my bestie on Saturday
*lunch with my Daddy on Sunday
*packing away Summer clothes (I can't pretend anymore
we are having an Indian summer)
*no technology........OK, maybe just Instagram ;-)

What about you?

Have a lovely one whatever you are doing

It's Not Just About The Money

Sep 28, 2014

"Money won't buy happiness, unless we exchange it for the things
that will bring happiness.

If we don't know how to get happiness out of five dollars, 
we won't know how to get it out of five hundred,
or five thousand, or five hundred thousand".

How true is this?
How many people do you know who "seem"
to have everything but are just never happy? :-(

What things (that don't cost a lot of money)
make you feel really happy?

Wishing you ALL a week full of happiness

Extract: Eleanor H Porter

Hi Gorgeous! Just One Thing.

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A Little Inspiration For Your Journey

Sep 1, 2014

Sometimes as we create our own lives and our own
destiny, we feel that it is only us screwing up time and
time again. Everyone else seems to have their act together.

We often just want to throw in the towel, but deep down
in our core we know that this not going to make us feel
any better. In fact it will make us feel worse.

With all the social media platforms that we now use,
seeing everybody else's "edited" life, makes our own failures and 
mistakes seem larger than life and
even harder to swallow.

But wait a minute gorgeous. Should we really be comparing the
beginning of our journey with the end result of someone else's?

These are the kinds of questions I have to ask myself often
as the self-sabotage sometimes gets a grip.

I hope you will be inspired by this wonderful
short video from the author Elizabeth Gilbert.
It's only about 8 minutes. But I hope it gives you
some soul-food for the rest of this week.

Wishing you all a wonderfully creative week full of fun, lessons
and persistance.


Is This All You Need?

Aug 25, 2014

Is anything missing from this list for you?

Wishing you all a wonderful week,with all the above and MORE

Smell The Flowers On Your Side Of The Path

Aug 18, 2014

I don't know about you, but I am
great at looking at my flaws; what's not working,
what I don't have and should have (my perception
of what should be etc etc).

I do appreciate everything I have and
write in a gratitude journal daily,
but with all the social media platforms we
are now party too, and seeing all the "edited"
versions of other people's lives, it
does become easier  to look at our flaws.

Then I remembered this lovely story that a 
coach gave me more than 15 years ago
(so it's obviously always been a problem for me ;-)

This is a really wonderful story…………

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course the perfect pot was proud of it’s accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of it’s own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to the house”. The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look at the good in them.

SO to all my “crack pot” friends, have a fab week  
and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!!!!

A Fashion No-No or Not?

Aug 6, 2014

I think that awful "meat dress" would have
killed more relationships than flip-flops-just saying ;-)

Jason Wu

Oscar de la Renta
I so want this dress.

So Lovelies, what is your view on "Sweat-pant Syndrome"?
Do you live in your sweatpants?
Do you make a conscious effort to never wear them?
Are sweatpants (worn continually) a sign of defeat?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Pool-Side Prettiness

Jul 21, 2014

I don't know about you but I much prefer
being by a pool than on the beach.

Maybe it's that you end up finding sand everywhere
days after you have left the beach?

Or maybe it's because you always get
the kids that want to play football pitch
up right next to you?

I'm really not sure, but I do know you can give me a luxurious
pool any day and I will take that.

When you are poolside, you can go a little more
glam than when you are at the beach, simply because 
you haven't got to worry about sand and sea water
ruining your things.

I like to go for tropical brights and tutti-frutti accessories when
I am by a pool.
Here are some of my favs:

Towel: Louise Vuitton
Sparkly flats: Zara
Kaftan: Matthew Williamson (Net-a-Porter)
Kensie turquoise earrings:  here
Floral Glasses: Dolce & Gabbana
Angelina Stacking Bangles: here
Liberty Print iPad case: here
Liberty Print Tote: here
Lara Pomegranate Earrings: here
Dixie Pink Stacking Ring Set: here

So there you go Lovelies.
Which are your favs?
Also would love to hear if you are  
a pool or beach babe.

Have a lovely week

On The Couch With…………….

Jul 10, 2014

OK, being a former Psychologist, you know
how much I love knowing what makes people
tick. I usually interview fellow bloggers who
have a story to tell; who inspire me in some way
(however big or small).

My interviewee today (Nichola English)
is such a woman. This is a woman who
helps style woman and give them the confidence
they need with personal styling; helping 
them make real changes in their lives.

But here's the rub. She has only recently
learnt to walk again after being involved in
a terrible accident that left her partially disabled!

Enjoy my chat with Nichola English

Tell us briefly Nichola how you got into personal styling?
Having been lucky enough to work within different realms of the retail fashion industry 
I wanted to really learn more about the art of personal styling 
and how this process helps people to really make changes in their life. 
What drew me to the Style Coaching process, 
(which I’m proud to be now one of the leaders in the field of Style Coaching) 
is firstly, they were utterly unique and that’s what made them special.  
They use a holistic approach, that resonated with me. 
Their message is strong and clear; it’s not just about the clothing you wear, 
it's also about the self-journey, awareness and 
appreciation of who you are on the inside and out.

Who is your style icon?
I absolutely adore Grace Kelly -she had a subtle energy, 
natural elegance and style that was very timeless. 
You can even see versions of her style in today’s fashion. 
She was also the unofficial ambassador for Hermes; 
they named a bag after her called the Kelly Bag.

Which celeb do you think has the best style at the moment?
Cameron Diaz is a very natural, casual, chic dresser with 
little bits of sexiness thrown in. 
She always looks very relaxed, confident and comfortable 
in the clothing she wears. 
She also understands the art of dressing for her body shape and personality.

Which celeb would you most like to “get your hands on?”
For me at the moment it has to be Natasha Kaplinsky 
(who is a British newsreader and presenter). She’s very beautiful but 
her style is so conservative and old fashioned. 
I would still like to see her in an elegant dress code, 
but with some add freshness and modern style twists.

Natasha Kaplinsky

How would you describe your style?
My style is a mixture of natural classic with some elegance 
and a little sexiness thrown in. 
That’s possibly why I like Cameron Diaz-we have similar tastes in clothing.

What is the one brand you couldn’t live without?
Chanel make-up it’s a timeless range of 
cosmetics that’s perfect for most women and me.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours 
with no travel or money restrictions?
New York with its fifth Avenue boutiques, it’s labyrinth of streets 
and iconic buildings and theaters; 
there’s just something charismatic about this place.

Your favorite shop?
At the moment it’s a clothing line called Mint Velvet
their clothing collections are about empowering women 
with confidence, they use combinations of fabulous textures 
that are effortlessly wearable for the modern day women.

French Riviera or Italian Riviera to kick back?
Italian Riviera with its charm and beautiful landscapes.

Victoria Beckham or Stella McCartney?
I have a lot of respect for Victoria Beckham. 
She has in recent years brought fashion and style 
into the mainstream. I think she really "gets" and understands 
real style and how it works for women. 
I definitely think she is a style icon.

One item every woman should have in their wardrobe this summer?
It has to be statement accessories 
they complete outfits as well as giving the wearer 
a chance to really personalize their outfit.

Tallulah Blue Gemstone Stacking Ring set

One item you are saving up for?
Nothing at the moment

The temptation you wish you could resist?
Clothing and makeup.

Perfume of the moment?
Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle; 
it is sensual and elegant and smells divine.

Tell us something that would really surprise us about you
I had an accident that left me partly disabled with my left leg.
I had to have several years of physiotherapy to learn to walk again

The philosophy that underpins your life?
I actually have this on my desk and see it every day
“Follow your dreams. They know the way”

The song that means the most to you?
Barbra Streisand's Evergreen from her movie A Star is Born. 
I remember when I was a young teenager having the album 
and playing it over and over on my record player.
 It’s such an expressive moving song. Since my father died a few years ago 
(he was a fan of her songs), it has even more meaning to me now.

Your favourite piece from my boutique and how you would style it?
I love the Angelina hammered stacking bangle set with gemstones; 
this would look fabulous with a button back jumpsuit in black, 
statement heeled shoes and an embellished fold over clutch.

Angelina Gemstone Bangle Set

The way you want to be remembered?
I would really like to think that my styling business 
and I made a difference in the world.

Nichola's website/blog can be found here
Pop over and say hello.

Would love to hear your thoughts.
Happy weekend Lovelies