The Handpicked Collection of Gift Ideas

When giving or receiving a gift, nowadays its so much more thoughtful and fun if the present received is something that has not only been recommended, but is something quite unique and different from what you would normally expect.

Over at Handpickedcollection.com, they have a wide range of gift ideas individually thought of for her, him, the kids, particular age groups and interests wise.

The company have an expert panel of 20 trendsetters who are involved with the hard work of sourcing and handpicking the gifts shown.The panel include journalists from publications like Harpers, In Style, Red and Company, and individuals who are involved with the UK's most innovative companies, so you are sure to be picking a most uniquely fun and different present which the recipient will really enjoy receiving.

Here are my favourite picks which I would love to use and receive-the sun lounger would be perfect for people watching in summer on the South Bank green by the London Eye and the tape measure would so be handy for my boot sale finds too!!

Sun Lounger, £24.95

Leather Boasting Envelope, £22

Cashmere Wristwarmers, £25.95
Cath Kidston Tape Measure, £4.95

Cocorose Satin Shoes, £34.95

Do check them out, they have some really fabulous hand picked gift ideas, whatever your age or interest!!!


Charity Shop Finds this week

Last week was my week off and I've had mixed fortunes on the charity shop find front, for a change after doing a wardrobe declutter, I've given away more than what I've bought! I'm really trying to buy items that I will use, love and keep long term, even if it means not buying quantities of stuff!

Well, my finds were this 60s camel leather handbag, made by a company called Maclaren in Norfolk, England. Its an ideal small bag to carry and will go with virtually any colour outfit.

I also found this perfect leopardprint 80s St Michaels (Marks & Spencer) chiffon style blouse, which I'll wear either tucked in or loose as a jacket sort of style. This was from the St Francis Hospice.

I found 'The Fashion Book' which was £1.80 and another Kate Moss book which was £2.75.

The weekend has been very wet and cold, so I'm pleased to have some reading material handy!!

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday, whatever you get upto!!


Jonathan Saunders for Debenhams

After finding a Jonathan Saunders for Topshop dress late last year at the Red Cross charity shop, I've really got to like his use of colour blocking and neutrals, so it was great to see he has launched a collection for Debenhams.

I do love a High Street and Designer Collaboration, so I thought I'd do a post highlighting what Jonathan has designed.

Here are the pick of my favourites:

Colour Block Tee, £28

Black and White Midi Skirt, £45

Lime Chiffon Top, £38

White Colour Block Blazer, £60

Check out his collection here, it really is quite inspirational with some lovely basic pieces in great summer neutrals.


Outfit Post-Bold Colours for Winter

As I've been off this week and not having to wear a uniform-hurrah, I thought I should do an overdue outfit post.

This outfit is my Versace 90s electric blue jeans, they're amazingly comfortable, very stretchy and I love the vibrancy of them. I teamed it with the United Colours of Benetton top, both items were thrifted a few weeks ago.

I'm wearing my black Dune ankle boots, which were thrifted a couple of years ago.

I'm normally in dark colours for winter, so it made a pleasant change to add some colour to my winter outfit.

Are you managing to put some colour into your winter outfits?


Summer Jacket Inspiration

Typical British weather always means that a a jacket is always generally required in Spring and quite a few days in summer too.

Colour is very much in trend this season and if you're still thinking of a summer jacket or coat, then J D Williams have a great selection of womens jackets in many different styles and colours to choose from.

Here are my favourite picks of keeping in style and colour this Summer:

Red Sailing Jacket, £15.01

Leopardprint Pac a Parka, From £17.50

Lime Parka, £30

Polka Dot Reversible Mac, £55

Denim Mac, £42

What style of jacket or coat is inspiring you for this summer?


Banking on some Summer Inspiration

Summer is only a few months away and it will be so nice to start wearing pieces without tights, socks, vests or layers underneath!

Over at Bank Fashion they have a great selection of top brands that have some great inspirational pieces for summer. If you're after some summer shorts for those days on the beach or in the garden or some womens jeans in a great skinny fit style, there is something to please all styles and budgets:

Superdry Skinny Jeans, £54.99

Influence Palazzo Pants, £29.99
Ribbon Broderie Anglaise Shorts, £7

Superdry Boyfriend Style Shorts, £20
Ribbon Floral Canvas shorts, £7

I'm loving the shorts, so these have inspired me to stock up on some different styles for summer. Whats on your summer wishlist?


Sunday Booty, Charity Shopping and Camden

Sunday was an early start for hubby and I, we drove all the way to Nevenden in Basildon for a boot sale that wasn't on-oops, so we then detoured to Willow farm boot sale in Purfleet.

It was my first proper outdoor booty for the year so I was keen to pick up some bargains. I did quite well, I got a Laura Lees for Topshop chiffon leopardprint blouse, tan leather Topshop belt, a leopardprint scarf, a Topshop summer blouse and some elbow length Dents gold gloves-Christina, I'm sure they're the same as yours!!

We then jumped in the car and took a leisurely drive towards London and we stopped off at a couple of charity shops en route-Mind and RSPCA in Highgate.

Hubby got a Gap Merino wool v neck sweater, a Paul Smith shirt and a Banana Republic cardigan. I got a silk Jaeger scarf and these awesome gold leather snakeskin sandal shoe boots by Faith-only £8!!!

I was so chuffed with them, I kept them on for our journey to Camden, where we stopped for something to eat and treated our youngest boy to a new pair of limited edition Superman Converses.

The cobbles in Camden didn't bode well for these sandals, so once we got back in the car, I kicked them off and gave my feet a rest, lol!! But I don't regret getting them, they're not shoes for shopping in or walking on cobbles, so my own fault really!!

I'm standing outside a restaurant that has a swing outside it!!

It was a great day out and a good start to my week off, I shall be generally chilling out and doing not too much, well I might check out the local charity shops, it would be rude not to!!

Have a good week ahead everyone!!


Vintage Vixen, You Rock!!

Its so wonderful to have gorgeous blogger friends, especially when they haven't met you but they know your style. The wonderful Vintage Vixen, a lovely lady and beautiful blogger friend has styled me to a tee, have a look at the gorgeous parcel I received this morning.

I've been coveting some palazzo pants since trying on the ones in Topshop with Kate a couple of weeks ago and the darling Vix sent me this totally gorgeous and unique pair. The photo truly doesn't do them justice, the pattern is so vibrant and lovely, the length is perfect (floor length) and the style is just so different and unique-I really can't wait to wear these this summer, I adore them!!

What can I say about this fabulous faux fur stole and the snake pieces, a wonderful armlet and matching necklace-I will truly enjoy wearing these and will cherish them, they are stunning items and I was over the moon to get them!!

Yay for the 80s leggings-these are from C&A, I was in and out there so much back in the day and I'll wear these loads too!!

And some fabulous reading material too for this wet and cold weekend, I'll pick up some invaluable style tips for sure!!

A big thanks to Vix, you are a wonderful and kind lady and a great stylist too!!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone, this has been the highlight of mine plus I'm off work for a week too-can't get any better, lol!!


My Favourite Footwear Looks for Summer

I'm beginning to think more about the styles of shoes I'm coveting for Summer and the styles I particularly love are wedges, metallics, electric blues, nudes, peep toe shoe boots and colour blocking.

Over at Viva La Diva Womens Shoes there are over 180 brands to choose from, so I was immediately drawn to my favourite brands, KG by Kurt Geiger and Nine West. Plus quite a few of their styles are already reduced too!

Here are my favourite picks that will be inspiring me for summer:

Nine West Eqestrian Classic Courts £35.75
KG Priscilla Platform Wedges, £60.26

KG Vinnie Boots, £99
KG Honolulu Classic Sandals, £80.69

KG Indie Courts, £99

What style of sandals, shoes or boots are on your wishlist for this summer?


Thrift Inspiration, Vogue Fiesta Style

On my thrifting trips, I'm always on the hunt for the perfect style vintage dress, hopefully inspired by what will be in trend for the coming season.

Vogue have predicted the 'Fiesta' trend, which incorporates full skirts at midi length and frilled peasant blouses with a latin edge:

Last weeks thrift trip found this vintage Wallis peasant style dress, which is a really vibrant scarlet red and patterned in a bold leaf and acorn print.
It has pretty ruffles around the neckline and a suitable in trend midi length and is a versatile day dress for any forthcoming season. It was from the Sue Ryder charity shop in a neighbouring local town:

I think it will look really good with some gold wedges, flat gladiator sandals or some tan leather knee length boots, depending on the season I wear it. I will wear it with its own self skinny belt or a wide tan or black belt.

Align Centre
What trend is really inspiring you this Summer?


Doing a Maxi

Oh my gosh, I've had a pretty awful weekend, no landline phone, no internet access, no car and a stinking cold and an extremely heavy period-no wonder my hormones have been all over the place these past few days!!

On Sunday, despite having nowhere in particular to go, I changed out of loungewear and wore my newly thrifted Monsoon maxi skirt from the British Heart Foundation for only £4.99. I'm wearing my faux fur bolero and my heattech polo neck top.

After my trip out with Kate, I had been lusting after a pair of Topshop palazzo pants, but it didn't happen for me to get them, so the maxi skirt is my longer length alternative option.

I'll wear the skirt in summer with a little cami vest top and a pair of wedges.

Hope you all had a great weekend and wishing you a nice week ahead too.


Some Stella McCartney for H&M

My local Sue Ryder always seems to be the place where I'll pick up really good finds. I gave a black Anne Klein tuxedo jacket away last year because I thought I had too many jackets, and as always is the way, regretted it.

So late last week when I found the Benetton striped tee I also found this Stella McCartney for H&M black wool tuxedo on their sale rail. The lapel has some pin marks, so I'm assuming this is why it was on that rail. After dry cleaning, if the marks are still there I shall just put a brooch on the lapel anyway.

It was a must buy and I won't be getting rid of it in a hurry either!!

What items have you parted with and regretted it in that you want to replace it?


Thrift Inspiration, Net-A-Porter Style

The lovely Mrs Fab over at Trying to Look Fab in your Forties did a post last week on The Essential Boutique at Net A Porter, which features their Perfect 10 items for any womans wardrobe.

Well I was inspired by the minimalistic style of the knits, my favourites are shown here which are currently available at Net-A-Porter:

Phillip Lim, £320

Elizabeth and James, £345

Stella McCartney, £425

So suitably inspired by these, I was pleased to pick up this Per Una sweater by Marks and Spencer late last week in the Salvation Army charity shop for only £1.99.

It is a sage green colour, ideal for Spring and Summer as a casual chic look.

What style sweaters will you be wearing this Spring and Summer?


Thrift Inspiration, Benetton Way

Colours and Stripes in combination are everywhere, from Marc Jacob to Prada its a really vibrant trend for Summer 2011.

Marc by Marc Jacob

I bought my March edition of Elle on Wednesday and a free United Colours of Benetton Summer 2011 flyer came with it. Who better than Benetton on the High Street to regularly follow this trend, they have also been synonymous with all things bright and colourful

I love the bright jeans and skirts, my recently thrifted Versace jeans are a similar colour to the ones below

So I was pleased to find on Thursday at my local Sue Ryder charity shop this fine knit sweater by Benetton for only £2.95

I love all the colours in it and it will go with anything-I'm after some white jeans for summer so I'm sure it will go really well with them too.

Are you going to be in colourful stripes this Summer?


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