Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bead & Wire Fashion Jewelry Book Offer

Bead & Wire Fashion Jewelry’ is a fresh and modern take on the classic techniques of making beautiful bead and wire jewellery.

This new book, from the founder of the London Jewellery School, combines in-depth easy-to-follow techniques with a fashion-focused approach to design and is suitable for complete beginners and more experienced jewellery-makers alike. The book follows the central ethos that ‘everyone can make jewellery’, as a result all the projects use easy to source materials and are designed for anyone to make their own professional quality jewellery from the kitchen table. 

Jessica Rose founded the London Jewellery School in 2009. It began as one class a week in her local community centre and in a few short years has grown to be the UK’s largest independent jewellery training centre, with over 100 classes to choose from. Jessica has taught thousands of students how to make jewellery and this book was written in response to their reoccurring questions about technique, materials and inspiration. You can read my review of one of their courses here.

The reader is first introduced to all the essential techniques used to make bead and wire jewellery, whilst also combining mixed materials such as feathers, fabric, leather and buttons. This offers a toolbox of techniques from which countless designs and collections can be made. 

Alongside techniques, this book showcases a simple but inspiring design process using mood boards, cutouts and collages and encourages you to consider the design of a piece in relation to an overall style, outfit or occasion as any fashion designer would. 

Bead & Wire Fashion Jewelry is suitable for all levels, from complete beginners to experienced jewellers looking to diversify their skills. It is written by a jewellery lover, for jewellery lovers everywhere.  

**Offer To My Readers**

The book is available from the 7th of September but you can order it now at the special offer price by ringing the number below and quoting the offer code.

Bead & Wire Fashion Jewelry 9781861089670
RRP £14.99, offer price ONLY £11.24 plus p&p
To order, please call 01273 488005 or go to and quote code: R4622

Direct Link Here

Closing date for offer: 15th December 2014

Monday, 18 August 2014

Luxury Accessories Every Woman Needs

As we get older, many women start to build up their jewellery collection. Besides an engagement and wedding ring, women start to think of the luxury accessories that will add that touch of glamour to an outfit, and often can be an investment for the future ( ). 

In the tough economic climate I feel investing in gold and diamonds is an excellent way of getting a better return for your money than putting it in a simple savings account in a bank. It can also give you lots of pleasure for years to come as well as being a heirloom for your children.

beautiful diamond earrings can be an investment
image courtesy of Shutterstock

Diamond Earrings

Whether you are looking for a single diamond studs, clusters or drop earrings, diamond earrings are a great investment for those looking for a little luxury. Cluster diamonds are cost effective whilst single diamonds are classic and never go out of fashion.

0.50 Carat 18k White Gold Stud Diamond Earrings

Diamond Solitaire Pendant

To match these earrings a simple classic solitaire necklace is always a winner. Here I have gone for yellow gold. The traditional choice yellow gold has a warm colour and is a classic. Trends in gold come and go, white gold is the choice for a contemporary look whilst rose gold is in fashion at the moment, but yellow gold always remains a classic.

0.50 Carat 18k Yellow Gold Diamond Pendant

Sapphire Pendant

Sapphires are from the corundum gemstone family and are most often thought of as being blue, although they also come in many other colours including black, grey and even colourless. Sapphire is the birthstone of September, and besides being a great gift for those born in that month, out of all the coloured gemstones I feel blue goes with most clothing.

sapphire and diamond pendant
Pearl Earrings

Pearls come in various grades of quality but a luxury pair of pearl earrings will go with many outfits. Pearls can vary in price and shape from irregular pearls, to drop and pear shape pearls. Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable shape. The opalescence of pearls are very flattering on the skin and suit different skin tones.

pearl and diamond earrings

Diamond Circular Pendant

Another style of pendant that is becoming a modern classic is the diamond circular pendant. A perfect style to show off a little black dress with a plunging neckline, and a favourite on the red carpet, this glamorous style is tres chic.

diamond circular pendant 

Diamond tennis bracelet

A tennis bracelet is a style of bracelet made up of multiple diamonds of the same size studding the bracelet, all around. This beautiful style of bracelet acquired its name after Chris Evert, the tennis player lost her diamond bracelet during a tennis match for the US open. The match was paused so she could find her bracelet.

a diamond tennis bracelet 

Tell me what is your favourite item of jewellery? Do you own a special piece of jewellery which you wear with your favourite outfit? Have you always wanted to own a certain item of jewellery?

pearl studs are a classic that never date
image courtesy of Shutterstock

* All words and opinions are my own.

Wyld Wood Cider

Today I am reviewing Wyld Wood Cider by Westons. When I was young cider wasn't really the drink of choice of discerning people, but wow, times have certainly changed. Cider is, dare I even say it 'trendy' these days. One of the companies making cider the drink of the moment is Westons.

Westons is a company that has produced some of the best organic cider for over 15 years. They produce a number of brands including Stowford Press but today I am talking about Wyld Wood cider.  Wyld Wood cider is produced from organic orchards which are sustainably managed to preserve nature until the apples are ready to be picked. They also work with the Soil Association and The Wildlife Trusts to continually plant new organic orchards. Impressive don't you think? 

So onto the tastings. I was sent bottles of the sparkling organic cider and also boxes of still organic cider, that have a dispenser attachment to review.

The bottled organic cider has a clean apple flavour, which was well balanced. It had a slight sparkle to the drink but was not fizzy.  It was not too sweet or too tart. A lovely refreshing drink for a summers day, served over ice. A perfect companion to a barbecue or even a curry. 

The cider in the boxes with the dispenser, was still. The flavour was similar, with a fresh appley taste. I have never really thought about drinking still cider but this had a lovely taste and was a pleasant surprise. Both type of ciders did not taste strongly of alcohol, just a gentle hint. I think the still cider in particular would also be brilliant for cooking, particularly with pork. I know which cider to buy next time I make my Cidered Pork With Sage Dumplings! Also I don't know about you, but I find if I fancy a glass of white wine then I open the bottle, have one glass, then if my husband doesn't get to it before me, the bottle stays in the fridge for a few days, and never tastes as fresh as when I opened it. With the dispenser I can honestly say the cider stays fresh for ages, apparently for up to 6 weeks (although it didn't last that long in our house!). 

Wyld Wood Cider is available from all good supermarkets and off licences nationwide including, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsburys. You can also buy it online, and currently they offer free delivery from their online shop too. 

Weston are delighted to say that Wyld Wood cider are to be the official cider of Jamie Oliver and Alex James’ Big Feastival this year. The family-friendly foodie and musical festival for 15,000 in the Cotswolds, for the second year running (29th – 31st August). If you want to find out about the festival why don't you check out the website here - The Big Feastival .The Wyld Wood Cider Bar is located within an authentic tepee which will once again be centrally located. I can't imagine anything nicer than a cool glass of cider on a summers' day, in the middle of a festival.

So if you are a lover of cider, or just fancy a change from your usual alcoholic drink, why not try Wyld Wood for a change?

For more infomarion, check out their social media pages:

Tell me, have you ever tried this brand of cider? Do you drink cider at all?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Our Visit To Key West

Recently I was lucky enough to visit Key West on a trip to Florida.

Key West is an island at the southern most point of the United States. To get there is it is a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive from Miami along one scenic road called the Overseas Highway and it is approximately 8 hours from Orlando.  

We saw this lobster on our journey

It is part of the Florida Keys, a collection of little islands known for their laid back charm, beautiful beaches, fishing snorkelling and amazing seafood.

The Southernmost House

However I wasn't quite sure what to expect about Key West before we went. It is the largest island in the area, and I heard it is known as a partying town. Would it be suitable for families I wondered?

Well all my worries were laid to rest when we arrived. We all totally loved it there!

Sunset in Key West

The main street is Duval Street which has many restaurants, shops and bars and leads down to the beach. There is also Mallory Square where everyone gathers at sunset to see the beautiful views and the street entertainers.

Key West has a laid back attitude and culture and celebrates diversity. It has a large gay community and has a number of gay and drag bars as well as one or two strip clubs but all are discrete, although you may have one of the drag queens welcoming you into the bars.

There are also a large number of bars playing live music with a great atmosphere, almost all being family friendly. Many had happy hours for that delicious cocktail at half the price of normal too. We found a couple of nice wine bars as well and would recommend Vinos on Duval street.

We felt very safe at night and saw lots of families enjoying the town. In fact it was much nicer than a night out in Cardiff that's for sure. There are other places to visit in The Keys that are quieter but we liked the buzz of Key West.

The beauty of the place is in the architecture. Small white wash buildings add a European feel to the area. We saw the odd chicken roaming around the old buildings. It is really that laid back. Many compare the architecture to New Orleans.

The Shipwreck Museum

Attractions include The Shipwreck Museum, Ripleys Believe It Or Not. The Lighthouse Museum, The Ernest Hemingway Museum, The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and The Conch Train Tour. 

Key West was the richest town in the United States in the 1800's per capita due to the town being built around the business of salvaging ship wrecks. The Shipwreck museum explained the history of the island, and was very entertaining. Highly recommended for children.

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

Watersports include paddle boarding, fishing, snorkelling and many others. We found an amazing National Park called Fort Zachary Taylor. For a few dollars we parked the car and used the facilities all day. The beach is rocky but beautiful. We took water shoes which helped with the rocks. The water is warm and clear and brilliant for snorkelling. The park has a cafe, rest rooms and picnic areas as well as an historic fort.

Fort Zachary beach and National Park

There is a large range of places to eat from cafes and pubs to lovely restaurants and you can a wide range of food from simple salads and burgers to the freshest seafood and steak in Key West. Here I had some of the best seafood I have eaten and the prices were reasonable too. For those who like restaurants that they know there is The Hard Rock Cafe and a Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville as well as lots of independent restaurants.

We loved Key West and would love to go back in the future. The weather is very hot in the summer and very pleasant and warm in the Winter. We stayed at the Orchid Key Inn, a beautiful hotel, on the quiet end of Duval street, with excellent staff, and extras including breakfast and drinks every day.

Wonderful lobster at the Southern Most Beach Cafe

Best family attraction - The Shipwreck Museum
Best restaurant with a view - The Southern Most Beach Cafe
Best shopping - Coach Outlet
Best local food - Key Lime Pie and lobster
Must Do - day - Visit the southern most buoy at the southern most part of the USA
Must Do - evening Watch the sunset go down on Mallory Square and see the street entertainers

Tell me have you ever been there? What do you think of my review? Would you like to go?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Win With The Body Shop At Home - Ends 31/08

Today I am speaking to a friend of mine Donna Sadler about becoming a Body Shop At Home consultant. Donna juggles being a mum with her job as a consultant and fits it around her busy day.

Hi Donna, can you tell my readers about a little about the well known brand.

With its brand expression, "Beauty with Heart", the company continues to be focused on five core values; Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights and Protect The Planet. All products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100% vegetarian. Quite a lot of our products are also suitable for Vegans. We do products for body, face, hair and home.

What are your best selling products?

As a Body Shop at Home consultant, I find our best selling products to be body butters, home fragrance and our vitamin C and E skin care ranges.

What are your personal favourite products and why?

My personal favourites in the home fragrance section are the candles and reed diffusers! Green Tea and Lemon and Vanilla and Tonka Bean are my favourite scents at the moment. I have at least one in every room. 

I'm also in love with everything in our Shea and Spa Range, I'm addicted to our Shea EDT and body butter.... luxurious and absolutely heavenly. 

When it comes to skin care, I use the Vitamin E range every single day BUT my favourite products with the wow factor have to be the warming mineral face mask and Vitamin C skin reviver.

I had never used make up from from Body Shop At Home until I became a consultant, but now I wouldn't use anything else. Our 'Instablur' is my primer and fixer of choice. It completely photoshops the face, reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines, leaving it shine free for up to 12 hours, It's fabulous!

We have just launched our Wild Argan Oil Body range which is completely luxurious and indulgent. My favourite product so far is the radiant spray oil.

What are the benefits to being a hostess?

There are so many benefits to being a hostess. You will get £25 FREE shopping, this has doubled to £50 in August, and 70% discount on your personal shopping. There is also a special collection every month available to hostesses for a fantastic price. I also treat my hostesses to a skin care facial, hand massage, foot soak and a free bottle of wine at every party. 

If a reader wants to host a party who would they contact?

If readers would like to book a party with me, I'd be delighted! I can do parties anywhere in South Wales, and I also host virtual online parties using Facebook anywhere in the UK (exactly the same benefits for the hostess). If you want a hostess to come to your house and you are not local to me I can put you in contact with your local representative. Contact me:

Body Shop at Home also offer exclusives and amazing offers for customers not found in store or online, This month for example we have this amazing fruity collection bundle, worth a whopping £56.50 but available ONLY through your local body shop at home consultant for just £22! I am also offering 3 for 2 on all bath, shower, hand and foot care from our summer catalogue, please contact me to see the latest offers or to place an order.

How did you start working as a consultant?

I saw an ad on Facebook last October recruiting for new consultants. The lady got in touch with me and I joined that week. It was so easy to apply and I started earning from day one. I absolutely LOVE my job, it doesn't feel like work at all. We are constantly rewarded every month, have fun competitions, incentives and all are in easy reach. Continuous free ongoing training and meetings are also in place for everyone.

What are the benefits of being a consultant?

The benefits are meeting new people and making lots of new friends, a fabulous commission rate, free products, the chance to try products before they reach the public. Is is also great working with a dynamic, motivated and passionate team of ladies and gentleman, yes, there are male consultants too! 

Is it easy to fit in around family and work commitments? 

This job is TOTALLY flexible. A lot of our consultants fit this around full time employment and their family life. Just 2 hours a week could earn you on average £200 a month! There are so many ways to sell, there are coffee mornings, mother and toddler groups, PTA events, charity events, fundraisers, the list in endless as well as regular parties at home. 

Should you wish to aim high and climb the ladder, that option is also available to you.. The sky really is the limit. Our "Aspire to Excellence" programme is fabulous. 

If a reader wants to become a consultant how would they contact you? 

I am currently recruiting new consultants from ANYWHERE in the U.K. If you would like more information about becoming a consultant or would just like to book a party please email me at:

You can also check out this video here on becoming a consultant.

August really is the month to join, for this month only, for just £30, you will have over £265 of products and Christmas Gifts to take you into our busiest months of the year. Join in August, and by the end of September you could have well over £460 FREE products as well as your earnings. No heavy contracts, unobtainable targets or pressure. Just a lot of fun! By joining in August you will also be able to start working toward our Trip of a Lifetime! The company really look after all their consultants.

Ladies, I promise you, you will LOVE this job. What are you waiting for?! 

To win a goody bag of full size items similar to those featured below and worth at least £40 then enter the competition below. 

* items pictured are a representation of what you may receive, you may not receive everything pictured

Browse The Body Shop At Home summer catalogue online, and then leave a blog comment telling me your favourite item from their ranges. If you join Donna's Body Shop At Home Facebook page, please leave a SEPARATE comment on my blog saying so for an extra entry. So you can get up to two entries per person. Please also leave a way of contacting you such as an email address or twitter ID. Good Luck!

Terms and Conditions
My giveaway is open to those 18 + living in the UK only.
Winner picked at random via
Entries will be checked for validation.
Please allow 28 days for delivery.
Giveaway ends midnight on 31/08/14.

La Redoute Dress Review

La Redoute is a woman's wear company that has been established for over 20 years in the UK. Their byline is French style made easy, and they have become known for stylish easy to wear classic fashion. They have also worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including Karl Lagerfeld, Naomi Campbell and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

I have ordered from La Redoute in the past and have always been pleased with the items I have received so I was looking forward to the reviewing the dress they sent me.

This tropical print dress is made with a cotton stretch material and is generous on the sizing. The sweetheart neckline is very flattering and it has gathers at the waist. What I love about it the most is the summery print, adorned with beautiful flowers. It just made me feel happy wearing it!

I wore the dress for a meal out in Key West and matched it with a heart necklace and earring set with picked up the hints of orange in the dress, from Warren James Jewellers. In fact you can win this set here.

Key Lime Margarita

This dress is perfect for a meal out with your partner or for cocktails with friends. The stretchy material means it is comfy to wear, even after that dessert you couldn't really fit in, but had to have.

If you want to check out the new in items from La Redoute have a look here, the Autumn/Winter collection is now out although there are still many summer items in stock, and some are in the sale. They also have free returns and a free catalogue which is also an added bonus.

Would I order from La Redoute again? Yes I would. I waited a little longer than I expected for my delivery but that was due to stock availability. The quality of the dress was very good. It was well made, the stitching was even and the design pretty and flattering. 

Tell me have you ever ordered from La Redoute? What do you think of the dress I reviewed? Where would you wear it?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Di Palomo - The Fragrance Of Italy Made In The UK

Di Palomo was created when three friends enjoyed lunch overlooking a river in Devon on a perfect summer's day. Recounting their stories of Italy and their love of the country they decided to create a luxury bath, body and fragrance company. Attention to detail is their by word and every item is packaged beautifully and smells exquisite.  Made in the UK but bringing the Italian sun to our shores, each fragrance range brings the smells of Italy to you in your home. 

Tuscan Rose is reminiscent of the climbing roses in a Tuscan guest house whilst Wild Fig and Grape captures the smell of the different foliage. Orange Blossom with Wild Honey and Olive is inspired by the orange groves in Naples, whilst White Grape with Aloe is reminiscent of the grapes ripening in the Umbrian sun.

I was sent the White Grape and Aloe diffuser reeds to review. The reeds were well packaged in a luxury green box when they arrived. The liquid is a fragrance oil and this is drawn up through the natural reeds to perfume the air.

 I love the finishing touch of an imitation leaf decorating the bottle 

The fragrance that scents the room smells light and fresh and gentle. I find some smells cloying but this was subtle and delicious smelling. Perfect for those that like light smells.

White Grape and Aloe Fragrant Reeds £22

The second item they sent me to review was the Orange Blossom body butter. The pretty packaging of the box and jar added to the luxury feel. The jar is made of glass and the body butter inside is thick and fragrant. To apply it I warmed it in my hands first. It is extremely thick so a little goes a long way and due to that, I feel it will last a long time. 

Containing over 30% cocoa butter you can almost feel it softening your skin as you apply it. The smell is soft and sweet, but warm. I feel it smells more of honey than orange, and it is certainly not over powering - and I like that. 

Orange Blossom Body Butter £18

I don't actually wear perfume, preferring body mists, or body butters and this is now a new favourite of mine, and is pride of place on my bathroom cabinet. 

Both items really were quality items. The price is not cheap but certainly with the body butter you know it will last you a long time. It is not thin like some cheaper items, and both products smelt light, fresh, and not overpowering.

I spotted these products the other day in John Lewis, so when i'm in Cardiff next I will be certainly checking out the other fragrances in this range and other products they produce such as soaps, shower creams, hand and body lotion and lip balm. They even make a range for men.

If you are looking for a luxury bath, body range and home range please check out Di Palomo. You pay for quality and it shines through in their products.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bag Giveaway With Hotter Shoes - Ends 31/08/14

Recently I attended the Hotter Shoes blogging event in Cardiff. Hotter Shoes was set up in 1959 and originally designed and sold slippers.... until they had their 'Eureka' moment, they would design shoes with style and comfort combined. 

Quickly expanding they now have a number of stores around the country where their "Comfort Concept" -  shoes that are lightweight in design with breathable leathers and liners, are sold. 

However did you know they also sell handbags? Well they do, and I have the Juliet handbag to give away today on my blog.

Juliet Bag by Hotter Shoes

This handbag has a secure internal zipped compartment, magnetic popper closing and shoulder strap. This bag is priced at £26 which I think is a bargain for a leather handbag.

At the moment Hotter Shoes have a SALE on so it is a great time to buy. You can find Hotter Shoes on Facebook and Twitter, and following them is a great way to find out about new designs, special offers and sales.

To enter my competition pop over to the Hotter Shoes site and then come back and answer the questions on the Rafflecopter application below.

Also if you love competitions I have another giveaway running to win a set of jewellery from Warren James Jewellers.

You have to be in it to win it, so good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

My giveaway is open to those 18 + living in the UK only.
Winner picked at random via Rafflecopter
Please allow 28 days for delivery
No automated entries
One entry per person
Giveaway ends midnight on 31/08/14

Win competitions at - See more at:

Friday, 8 August 2014

The World's Most Expensive Jewellery

Cheryl Cole recently was in the news due to her engagement and marriage to Frenchman Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini. Her engagement ring was a beautiful emerald cut diamond worth £275,000. The ring is a “sharp flawless emerald diamond representing the “love and surrounded by two trapezium-cut diamonds for both personalities”.

For many people they can only dream of a ring as stunning and as expensive as that. Budget is almost always a consideration when buying jewellery for us mere mortals, but what if you were a billionaire and money was no object. What would you spend your money on?

Jewellery World have created an infographic about the most expensive jewellery in the world. Cheryl's ring has nothing on these fantastic pieces of jewellery. 

Why don't you have a look at these stunning pieces, and tell me what is your personal favourite? Princess Diana's engagement ring, a classic diamond set sapphire, or the Graff Pink diamond ring? Maybe you have another favourite. Let me know! I personally love the heart shape diamond worth 11 million. A girl can but dream...

*This is a sponsored post