All I want for Christmas is…

I know there are a few of these posts around at the moment, but it’s Christmas and I’m constantly being asked by those around me what I’d like for the big day. So for anyone asking, here’s some of my top choices!

asos cat watchAsos cat ears watch £25

asos kors dupe

Asos Michael Kors dupe £22

new look necklace

Gold tassle necklace New Look £6.99

elephant coin necklace

Elephant coin necklace Asos £12

nail art brushes

Nail art brush kit from Topshop £10

evoke mio radio

Pure Evoke Mio DAB digital radio in Seagrass

remington

Remington AC9096 silk hairdryer approx £30 from Boots

phone case

Marimekko Unikko iPhone 4 case £34

tess gerritsen body double tess gerritsen vanish

Tess Gerritsen novels – part of the Rizzoli & Isles series

nail rock nail wraps

Nail Rock red and gold metallic moon nail wraps approx £6

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You look lovely today canvas pouch £18

flake away

Soap & Glory Flake Away body exfoliator £7.50

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This Works Deep Sleep Heavenly candle £25 and the rest of the Deep Sleep range 

mulberry primrose

Mulberry Primrose – well a girl can try!

So that’s what I’ll be having my fingers crossed for in just over a weeks time, what are you hoping to find under your Christmas tree?

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Jo Elvin – Women at One Lunch Series

It’s not very often that invites like ‘who wants to come and see Glamour editor Jo Elvin speak at a women’s lunch event?’ pop into my inbox, so when this one got circulated by one of the girls at work I immediately jumped at the chance to attend.

‘Women at One’ is a lunch series which enables the women of Guernsey to get together to socialise and network over some lunch, whilst also listening to the inspiring stores of guest speakers from around the UK including magazine editors, CEOs and founders of women’s Leadership Academies.

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All photos from Women at One Facebook page

The November lunch was particularly popular as it was hosted by long-running editor of Glamour Magazine, Jo Elvin. Now whilst I am not an avid Glamour reader, I thought this would still be a fantastic chance to hear first hand how someone like Jo got to where she is today and what pearls of wisdom she had to bestow upon the rest of us (I also wanted to hear if she had any embarrassing celeb stories, which she definitely did!).

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Australian-born Elvin started her magazine career doing work experience at girls magazine Dolly, where was offered a full time job before moving to the slightly older Cleo. As well as working in magazines Elvin also had a brief stint as an Aussie cliche (her words, not mine!) when she worked as a publicist on Neighbours, and no, not during the Jason and Kylie years. She then took the huge decision to move to the UK with dreams of making it big in the UK magazine industry.

Dolly-Mag-June-July-2010-coverBeyoncé appears on the cover of Australia's Cleo magazine

As careers go, Elvin’s has been one of working incredibly hard, always using her initiative and putting everything into every job she’s undertaken, including taking the several knock backs she encountered on arriving in the UK. In fact she recalled a story of sitting in a greasy spoon in Notting Hill back in the early nineties and thinking it was maybe time to cut her losses and go back to Australia and even seeing a Quantas plane flying overhead – surely an even bigger sign?! It was at this low point that she was offered a job at Sugar magazine, and has since gone from strength to strength having been editor of women’s magazine Glamour, which she describes as being ‘glossy with grit‘, for over a decade.

jlaw coverAttributing her success to her Aussie determination and never wanting to give up, some of the highlights of her career include drinking a Vodka and tonic with Tony Blair on board a private plane and being papped with Terri Hatcher in the Hollywood Hills. But the life of a magazine isn’t all glitz and glamour as Jo also recalled a time at an awards ceremony when she was drafted in to hold up a certain female celebs dress whilst she went to the loo as it was so tight she couldn’t do it herself!

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So what’s her advice for a successful career? Firstly she advocates internships, but more to demonstrate the hard work you’re willing to put in, and if you’re looking to get into fashion that doesn’t mean only interning at fashion magazines. All experience counts, and in fact one of the current Glamour staff had never worked on a fashion magazine when she applied and was working on a car magazine, but the fact that she has immersed herself so fully into the world of cars really impressed Jo who decided to give her a chance, which she says absolutely paid off.

My personal favourite piece of advice Jo gave was straight to the point – ‘say yes and then figure it out later.’

Unfortunately we had a meeting to get back to at work so were unable to stay for questions after lunch which was pretty disappointing as I had wanted to find out Jo’s opinions on bloggers and whether they’re having a positive or negative effect on the magazine industry. But we did have just enough time to scoff the amazing cheesecake that came for dessert, although I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have eaten the whole thing so quickly as I felt super sick on the drive back to the office!

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All in all though this was a great event, Jo was incredibly warm and funny and although I’m sure she’s a totally formidable woman in the office her career stories and advice helped many of us around the table to understand the most important areas to focus on to really impress the people around you to drive your career forward.

Thanks to Jo and the organisers of Women at One for such a great afternoon out with the girls!

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Fashion Friday – The Jewel Shack

This Fashion Friday is all about a gorgeous little jewellery provider called The Jewel Shack, run by Laura from Secret Diary of a Fashion Journalist. 

Providing statement necklaces through Facebook, The Jewel Shack has some absolutely gorgeous pieces from The Watermelon to the Rainbow Eagle as worn by Hollyoaks’ Carley Stenson. I am a total sucker for a statement necklace and after checking out the many amazing necklaces on offer I finally settled on The Neon Knot for £11.50 and The Pistachio for £12, which personally I think are incredibly reasonably prices. Ordered on Sunday at 4pm, a parcel covered in little flowers arriving cheerily on my doorstep on Tuesday, which given I live in the Channel Islands is hugely impressive so a big thumbs up to Laura for sending them over so quickly…especially given how excited I was for them to arrive! After ripping open the parcel I was happily greeted by two tissue paper wrapped bundles, one in orange and one in green, which again I thought was a really lovely touch.

So onto the two beauties I bought….

neon knot

The Neon Knot – £11.50

neon knot2

pistachio1

The Pistachio – £12

pistachio2

So that’s it for this week, definitely check out The Jewel Shack on Facebook or Twitter. Let me know if you take a look or place an order I’d love to know what you get!

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Fashion Friday: Isabel Marant for H&M

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This week is all about Isabel Marant for H&M which launches in stores 14 November, and if you want any of these pieces you better be quick to avoid disappointment. The look book came out this week featuring Alek Wek amongst others and the collection features items for men, women, children and teens as well as shoes and accessories, so there’s literally something for everyone.

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So this week I wanted to do a quick Fashion Friday to share with you the pieces that I love from yet another great high street/designer collaboration.

isabel coat 1

The coats in this collection are amazing! As is this embellished jacket below, which is not cheap at around £200, but the craftsmanship and quality undoubtedly speaks for itself.

isabel red jacket

Brilliant basics are a key part of this collection, with slouchy tees, jumpers and even sweat pants making an appearance. My favourites are these two jumpers which are very simple, but the pattern especially on the red jumper is pretty cool whereas the white jumper is great for autumn layering.

isabel jumper isabel jumper red

My final picks are this white aztec tunic and the tassel necklace, which are effortlessly simple but would look great dressed up with jeans, boots and a sharp blazer.

isabel white top isabel necklace

So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of my favourite pieces from the Isabel Marant for H&M collection. Which are your favourite items? Will you be making a mad dash to get the piece you most want?

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Fashion Friday: Watch This

After having checked out a girl at work’s watch the other day I was most intrigued when an email popped into my inbox with the subject ‘the new version of my watch’ and a link to the most gorgeous Michael Kors watch, which even whilst writing this I wish she’d never sent me as now I really, really want it!!

michael kors watch

The gorgeous MK5055

On Asos for £229, I managed to find the same watch on thewatchhut.co.uk for £170, which I know is still a lot of money but at £60 less than the Asos price I am definitely incredibly tempted!

I am a huge fan of watches and at the moment the brighter and gaudier the gold, the better. At the moment my go-to high street store is New Look who have some gorgeous watches from around £9.99 and I have a couple from there at the moment which are on rotation depending on my outfit choice and mood each day. Check out my current faves that are available on their website right now.

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Classic gold and white watch with red leather strap – New Look £9.99 

new look blue and white watch

Blue and white sports watch – New Look £9.99

new look black and gold watch

One of my current watches – black and gold New Look £17.99

Asos also has some cute looking watches which suit all budgets as they range from Asos own brand watches from about £20 up to the Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors ones at a few hundred pounds, including midrange brands like Oasis, Ted Baker and Karen Millen so I would definitely check them out if you’re looking for something new.

So that’s my quick round-up of my favourite watches out and about on the web, what’s your watch personality? Any of my picks take your fancy?

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Fashion Friday – Mr Quiffy by House of Holland

This is not the first week that House of Holland has featured on my blog, check out some of my fave sunnies here, so yes you could say I’m a little bit of a HoH fangirl. And this week when I saw the new Mr Quiffy range I almost let out a squeal of excitement!

mr quiffy

Source: Vogue.co.uk

The actual Mr Quiffy designs are a combination of HoH trademark bright colours and pattern clashes of spots and stripes, but also super cute ice cream illustrations and I am especially in love with Mrs Quiffy and her amazing sunnies and Pat Butcher earrings! The Mrs Quiffy t-shirt is my absolute favourite piece, and I will definitely be treating myself to it on pay day. The Mr Quiffy necklace is also really quirky, and I’d love to team it with a plain white t-shirt or cute summer dress. To break away from the denim short trend of the summer, these patterned Mr Quiffy shorts are also awesome, and because they are also unisex you can get your bf to buy them and then steal them back!

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Mrs Quiffy T-Shirt £50

mr quiffy icecream_necklace_grande

Mr Quiffy necklace £30

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Mr Quiffy shorts

Have you seen the rest of the Mr Quiffy collection, what are your favourite items?

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Fashion Friday – Back to School (at 26!)

For the past two weeks I have been helping out my old Grammar School by taking part in an Apprentice style task for the Year 12 Business Studies students. As it’s winding down at the end of the school year the teachers thought it might be nice to do something a little different for the students, so got in three local businesses who each did a presentation to the year group of about 40 students before setting them a brief to work to and present back on the following week. Along with some folks from HR and Finance, I went along to represent the marketing function.

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Source: Ben LaParole 

Having not been back in over eight years (has it really been that long since I left?!) it felt so bizarre to walk back through the doors again and immediately recognise a place that you spent nearly everyday in for five years but also so nice to walk around and have such great memories come flooding back. At this point I will quash any wishful thinking for any old shots of me when I actually attended this school because I went to school in the nineties and noughties which was most definitely not a fashionable time for aged 11-18!

So, mentoring aside one of the things that unnerved me more than anything else I would be required to do as part of this process was what the heck to wear?! Now at 26 I like to conveniently forget I am closer to my thirties than my twenties, but when faced with returning to your old school to portray yourself as this successful marketer who the students might one day want to be like (am I just kidding myself here that one of those students would actually be the tiniest bit inspired by me??) it’s never been more important to look good.

So for the first week it was presentation time, so I wanted something smart enough but still comfortable to present in. So I went for my floral trousers from Dorothy Perkins which I am absolutely in love with and if the pattern wasn’t quite so obvious I might be tempted to wear them everyday, teamed with a black t-shirt and some black studded pumps from New Look.

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Floral Trousers from Dorothy Perkins £29.50 matching bomber jacket also available here for £35

So week one done, week two was all about turning Simon Cowell and have the students present back to us with this proposals on the brief. This week I went for something a little more formal (well about as formal I generally get in a business casual office) in a high-waisted black skirt, cobalt blue top and statement necklace with patent black brogues.

blue top and necklace

So the first two weeks down, the third and final week is arguably going to be the toughest fashion-wise, as it involves presenting the winning group with a prize in front of the WHOLE SCHOOL. I am not normally overall shy about doing these kind of things but when you are clearly going to be seeing a lot of people who have in no small way shaped who are now, to me I think that’s a pretty big deal. As I’m also flying over to London in the afternoon after having done the presentation I will also need something plane appropriate, so have settled on the below bird print kimono from George at Asda and black jeans.

george kimono

Bird Print Kimono and vest set, with necklace also included was £18 now £10 (sold out online, still available in stores)

So those were my choices for going back to school, what do you think? Have you had any similar experiences going ‘back to school’?

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