It’s Good to be Back!!

I’m back after a two-week hiatus caused by a slight technical problem…commonly known as broken bloody laptop!!!

Aside from battling with technology, I have also spent the past two weeks battling to lose weight.

Every pound is an uphill struggle, but 7 weeks in and I have managed to shed 10lbs!! I was happy with this until Mr R decided to be supportive and join in…1 week later and he had somehow managed to shed 9lbs!

If I’d had the strength, I’d have hit him. How is that possible!?!?!

To aid this mammoth weight loss mission I have also turned myself into Forest Gump.

Three times a week, I can be seen pounding the pavements looking like someone with ‘all the gear and no idea!’ With the help of my trusty App Bridge to 10k, I am now almost up to 5 miles and loving every minute of it …honest!!

Onto much more exciting stuff and you may remember that in my January Lust List I had my eye on this rather lovely chair from Brissi.

Brissi Strasbourg armchair £645:580

This morning whilst having a mindless shifty through Mr R’s discarded Evening Standard I came the across the same chair but from Alison at Home. However this chair was a total bargain… £645 reduced to £295 + £40 delivery.

Alison at Home - Rochelle French Armchair, £295

Alison at Home – Rochelle French Armchair, £295

Too exciting, I had to do a double take, this was too good to be true!

Obviously I didn’t want them to realise what a bargain this was and take it off the site so I had to move quickly, before 8.30am this morning I was the proud owner of a new armchair.

I think this may well be a new record for me!!

Big thank you Mr R for kindly forgetting to dispose of your paper, A) because you have helped me tick off one of my Lust Lists items and B) for unwittingly guiding me to a great new interiors website. I will certainly be purchasing more from here!!

We’re on the cusp of sales time and after this fabulous bargain I went on to discover a few more places where bargainous moments are waiting to be had!!

Matches

Flannels

Bernard Boutique

My Theresa

Sadly my Chloe handbag has not appeared on any of these sites yet but I’m keeping them peeled!!

Have a lovely weekend.

The girls’ day out that went the distance!!

The smug feeling of my last post has well and truly evaporated!

The Easter holidays got the better of me and as a result most of my to do list, including this blog got shelved!!

Back to it now though… My girls day out/ shopping trip for a handbag arrived on Saturday. A great day was had by all but alas I am still handbag less. More of that later.

An army marches on its belly so the day began with our trio settling in for a spot of brunch at The Delaunay.

Before it got messy!

Before it got messy!

As usual all three of us were on some kind of weight watching, no dairy, no wheat, “I’m seeing a personal trainer’ kick so the brunch menu in all its fabulousness was a worry, however we all very sensibly opted for the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and soda bread toast option. (I can’t do food envy!).

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I’m salivating just seeing it again, it was delicious!

Now to the shopping… we hit Long Acre and first stop was Ted Baker as lucky for us, we had Gail and her 40% discount in tow! I have to say I held firm as my money was on a bag but Kat managed to bag herself a dress for Ascot… She’ll hate me for doing this but I got to put a piccie in as she looked amazing!

A bargainous £95.40 with the discount… you can’t go wrong!!

We whipped through the stores picking up bits and pieces here and there… I did concede and allowed myself to get this jumper in Cos, though quite why I felt the need to buy knitwear on the hottest day of the year so far is beyond me!!

Cos- Raised knit jumper, £49.99

Cos- Raised knit jumper, £49.99

We did of course have to spend a bit of time in Selfridges, where Gail happily parted with her cash and vouchers in return for this rather nice Sophie Hulme bag!

Sophie Hulme- Double zip bag, £540

Sophie Hulme- Double zip bag, £540

So where is your bag, I hear you ask?

I spent a happy hour getting my knickers in a complete twist whilst draped in a multitude of Chloe saddle bags. Yes, I’ve changed my mind and decided that the Stella Falabella is not my ‘go to gotta have it bag’ I now need one of these beauties in my life..

Chloe - Marcie large hobo, £!055

Chloe – Marcie large hobo, £!055

After much deliberation grey (surprise, surprise!) was the colour of choice and the Marcie large hobo was the style however I just couldn’t bring myself/ justify/ afford the huge £1055 price tag!!

I am now going to stalk the online sales and see if this bag drops to a more palatable price point…if not does anyone have any bright ideas!!?!?!?

A quick potter and rest at Liberty’s in their to die for interiors floor.

Gail about to do Jackanory

Gail about to do Jackanory

and our day was rounded off nicely with dinner at Brasserie ZedelGetAttachment-7.aspxThey do the best profiteroles… I’d better mention that by this point in the proceedings the weight watching, no dairy, no wheat, “I’m seeing a personal trainer’ had been completely forgotten as we began to down our Kir Royales and wine!!

We obviously couldn’t leave it there so onto Hix for a cocktail which turned into a few for the road and I eventually got home, Burger King in hand ( so classy) at midnight!!

It's now messy!!

It’s now messy!!

Thanks girls for a great day and when’s the next one!?!?

Metallic Madness

I’m feeling quite smug…

We’re currently 1 week of the Easter holidays down and so far so good. No major fall outs and at the time of writing, no visits to A&E, ( I hope that I haven’t just tempted fate by putting that in black and white!)

Though the weather is still completely out of whack with the season and obstinately refusing to warm up, I am going to continue as though we are beginning to break out the summer clothes!

Today, I’m all about the latest summer trend for… metallic.

High sheen featured prominently in the S/S ’13 shows, turning up in all forms. The catwalk was awash with iridescent fabrics, holographic foils, glitter and sparkle aplenty.

Burberry, Nina Ricci and Diane Von Furstenberg were a few of the big names to really latched onto this latest trend; either going all out by sending whole outfits of lustrous metallic down the catwalk or, for a more subtle approach, all over sequins to add a touch of shimmer to their ranges.

Burberry
Burberry
Diane Von Furstenberg
Diane Von Furstenberg
Nina Ricci
Nina Ricci
Just Cavalli
Just Cavalli

As I may have mentioned once or twice before, I’m a sucker for a bit of Tina Sparkle so this trend is right up my street. If the sun ever decides to grace us with its presence I shall be there, reflecting her rays, whilst donning an article of high shine clothing!

But what will I find to satisfy this magpie need in me on the high street?

Topshop- Embellished body con dress, £110
Topshop- Embellished body con dress, £110
Zara- Sequinned Sweater, £45.99
Zara- Sequinned Sweater, £45.99
French Connection- Ozlem sequin leggings, £120
French Connection- Ozlem sequin leggings, £120
Stories -Structured Jacket, £79
& Other Stories -Structured Jacket, £79
Maje- Americano blouson argent, 295e
Maje- Americano blouson argent, 295e
Jigsaw - Square sequin pouch, £69
Jigsaw – Square sequin pouch, £69

Yep, I think, I’m going to be well and truly stylishly catered for and thank goodness I won’t  be walking round looking like a modern-day versions of Metal Mikey, remember him?

Will you be partaking in a bit of summer metallic if we ever get that far?

Happy weekend.

The hell of shopping for jeans!

I hope you had a happy easter and that you haven’t overdosed on chocolate as I have?

It’s the same story every year- I tell everyone to buy me something other than chocolate, I then panic that I’m not going to have any chocolate, so tell everyone to buy Mr. R chocolate…which I then scoff!

I now need a pair of FAT jeans!

Jeans shopping= NIGHTMARE.

It’s up there with swimwear shopping and sticking hot pins in your eyes for a fun day out! So just how do you end up looking like Brooke Shields in her Calvin’s?

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Oh lets be honest, In my dreams this is possible, in my reality it most probably is not!

But with a bit of hard work and a lot of determination, finding the right pair of jeans, hidden amongst the many brands, cuts, colours and washes, is absolutely a feasible feat.

How to find the perfect pair of jeans…

  • Knowing the proportion of your body is important. Are you long in the body or short?  If you have a long body then you need to trick the eye into giving you longer legs, so buy slightly higher waisted jeans. Likewise, if you are short in the body and have a large bust, a high waist is only going to accentuate this. Go for a mid-rise waist.
  • Buy jeans that feel almost uncomfortably tight when you try them on. We’re not talking passing out tight here but the waistband should dig in slightly and you should need to breathe in to do them up! They always give once you start to wear them.
  • Always check your rear view in the mirror! Pockets positioning and size is crucial – Too low and you may create yourself a saggy backside, too wide apart and you’ve managed to add inches!
  • Consider having your jeans altered. This is not unusual, maybe you’ve found the perfect pair but the waist needs altering or the hem needs taking up.
  • Remember that dark denim is the most slimming colour.
  • Make sure you take the right footwear with you. If you are buying boot cut or flares then have a pair of heels handy.

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So now that you’ve found the Holy Grail of jeans, how do you care for them…?

  • Buy the shop up, failing that, buy a couple of pairs at least!!
  • Jeans are supposed to shape to your body and when you wash them they lose that. However I can not wear my jeans for 6 months without washing them…euckk! If, like me you must wash them, try to do it as little as possible and do it as follows…
  • Turn inside out and wash in cold water (30° is hot) line dry them, do not tumble dry.
  • If you can be bothered, try this little known Japanese method; which apparently entails filling your bath with 6″ of room temperature water and then jumping in whilst wearing your jeans.

Not too sure about that last one…

I can’t say that being armed with the above is going to make jeans shopping any less depressing, (you’ve got to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince!) but it may help lead you to success eventually!

Wish me luck, I’m off to try and find a flattering pair of boyfriend jeans…

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Until next time…

All I want for March!

Kathryn Radcliffe Style Consultancy

Here we are at the end of March already, a quarter of the year done and still we haven’t seen even a whiff of sun, remember what that is!?!

It’s Lust List time!

The pole position is completely unrivalled this month.

The thing I want most in the world is to lie on a sunny beach, feel warm and acquire a lovely golden tan!

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 19.36.06Sadly unless Mr R has a surprise Easter break up his sleeve the above is not going to occur. Therefore my beach holiday is being replaced with the next best thing…a Sienna X spray tan!

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Have you had on of these? It has got to be the most natural looking spray tan and will have to suffice…for now!

Keeping on the summer theme, (it will turn up one day, even if it is only for one day!) my next lust are these gorgeous Burberry studded…

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The Red Carpet Regime.

Oh purleeease, it is soooo cold!

Seriously I haven’t felt warm for weeks. I am currently sitting with a hot water bottle stuffed up my sweater… Such a good look!

So this weekend my friend Abi and I ventured to Harrods to see the Dior installation.

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What were we thinking...Harrods on a Saturday!?!? It was heaving, so sadly the lobster sandwich eluded us!

As we moaned about the crowds, Abi put it perfectly,

” At least we got to see how fat/ skinny Charlize Theron et al really are. Let’s be honest that’s all anyone is really looking at!!”

She is so right.

All those gorgeous clothes and most people were scrutinising Audrey Hepburn’s tiny hips!

It got me thinking about the pressure that a celebrity on the red carpet is under…Ok, it’s their job to look fabulous; but there can be few things more intimidating than facing the worlds paparazzi with their high-definition lenses on the red carpet

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So how does one get red carpet ready?

Apparently most celebs start their ‘prep’ or ‘torture’, depending on your point of view, 6 weeks before the event.

From this point, weeks of hunger, sacrifice and lipo ensue. It’s sounds brutal and frankly, I’m not sure it’s for me, 6 weeks just wouldn’t be long enough!!!

Speaking to The New York Times, British facialist Nichola Joss, described a high-definition close up, and it makes a magnifying mirror sound like your friend!

“You can see a hair follicle. You can see a pimple before it is a pimple”

My God, I’d look horrific!

The nominated celebrity will spend the weeks leading up to an event visiting a merry go round assortment of primpers and preener; facialists, stylists, hairdressers, personal trainers, podiatrists (what the hell is that?), dietitians and major fashion houses, all whilst surviving on a diet of cayenne pepper and lemon!

Hold the personal trainer, cayenne pepper and lemon juice but the rest, to be honest sounds like fun.

Not so fun would be the last-minute nip and tuck procedures that are frequently endured. Apparently lipo under the shoulder-blade is a popular one as is underarm botox to stop sweating on the night!! Hmmmmm.

Imagine doing all of that and still getting ripped apart by Joan Rivers on Fashion Police!

One look at the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston or our very own Kate Winslet on the red carpet and it is obvious that all the hard work and sacrifice pays off.

They do appear to be picture perfect specimens of woman kind.

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The Oscars has been described as the most powerful catwalk in the world and it is easy to see why.

The wrong actress, in the wrong dress or a picture taken at the wrong angle can break careers; and not just of the poor soul baring the brunt of the camera.

On the flip side a great red carpet moment can make a career…Liz Hurley, need I say more?

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One thing’s for sure, the Cinderella moments that we all see taking place on the red carpet are definitely down to a lot more than a well-timed and well executed pose.

All of the above is obviously why I’m not an A- Lister… I couldn’t be bothered with the prep and sticking to a diet is simply beyond me. It would take months, perhaps years to get me anywhere near ready!

So do you have a favourite red carpet moment?

Until next time…

Kathryn Radcliffe Style Consultancy

Ahhh pregnancy… not my favourite state of being!

Being honest, I am simply not a person who blooms or blossoms during pregnancy. In fact I think it is fair to say that after gaining a whopping four and a half stones, the term ‘balloons during pregnancy’ is probably more applicable to me!

My straight talking grandmother was probably spot on when she informed me and an equally pregnant friend that we looked like a couple of beached whales! Just what we needed to hear!!

Pregnancy however seems to be rather ‘on trend’ at the moment, with many celebrities, and of course The Duchess of Cambridge all sporting the latest accessory The Baby Bump!

Nine years ago, when I was pregnant, you rarely saw a pregnant celebrity, they used to hide themselves away, until 3 weeks after the birth. Then they would reveal themselves on the red carpet, miraculously looking for…

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The Maternity Wardrobe

Ahhh pregnancy… not my favourite state of being!

Being honest, I am simply not a person who blooms or blossoms during pregnancy. In fact I think it is fair to say that after gaining a whopping four and a half stones, the term ‘balloons during pregnancy’ is probably more applicable to me!

My straight talking grandmother was probably spot on when she informed me and an equally pregnant friend that we looked like a couple of beached whales! Just what we needed to hear!!

Pregnancy however seems to be rather ‘on trend’ at the moment, with many celebrities, and of course The Duchess of Cambridge all sporting the latest accessory The Baby Bump!

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge with her tiny wee bump!

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge with her tiny wee bump!

Nine years ago, when I was pregnant, you rarely saw a pregnant celebrity, they used to hide themselves away, until 3 weeks after the birth. Then they would reveal themselves on the red carpet, miraculously looking for all the world, like someone who had not had a baby…ever!!

Why was this?

Well obviously they didn’t want to be ‘papped’ looking like waddling ducks but I think there’s a bigger reason…MATERNITY CLOTHES or lack of, should I say!

The maternity uniform which was available to me was a very basic pair of jersey trousers, some unflattering, badly fitted jeans and a selection of empire line jersey tops. If you were really pushing the boat out, an unfashionable jersey dress, whoop de doo!

So is the world of  maternity wear still the same barren, uninspiring place?

Happily, the legions of fabulously pregnant celebrities out there, proudly flaunting their stylishly dressed bumps, confirm that times are most definitely a changing!

A heavily pregnant Busy phillips on the red carpet, looking stunning

A heavily pregnant Busy Phillips on the red carpet, looking stunning

About to pop, Lara Stone rocking a minin dress

About to pop, Lara Stone rocking a mini dress

Kim K in her on trend monotone dress

Kim K in her ‘on trend’ mono tone dress

The ‘barely there’ maternity wear department, located at the back of Littlewoods, is no longer the only port of call for expectant mothers.

Today maternity is taken seriously, Topshop, H&M, Gap and a host of others High Street brands, all offer affordable ranges of clothes which look to fashion and trend for their inspiration.

But lets not get too carried away here; a pregnant bump is still a pregnant bump, there are limitations!

Here are some of the more inspiring high street finds.

Topshop - Maternity v back maxi dress - £18

Topshop – Maternity v back maxi dress – £18

H&M- Mama Jeans, £24.99

H&M- Mama Jeans, £24.99

Gap - Striped slub cowl neck T, £14.95

Gap – Striped slub cowl neck T, £14.95

Not feeling like trawling the high street, then why not turn to the huge array on online stores now offering high street and designer maternity wear? Isabella Oliver, A pea in the pod, Seraphine and ASOS all do the job brilliantly.

Asos, New Look maternity jersey dress, £19.99

ASOS, New Look maternity jersey dress, £19.99

Isabella Oliver - Ella knit Dress, £115

Isabella Oliver – Ella knit Dress, £115

A pea in the pod - 7 for all mankind secret fit belly skinny jeans, $215

A pea in the pod – 7 for all mankind secret fit belly skinny jeans, $215

Maternity wear today truly is a world away from the lack lustre choice that I was faced with.

And if things weren’t greatly improved already, the current trend for oversized shapes has added to the veritable bump covering bounty of clothing.

I could almost begin to get excited about pregnancy…but not quite!!

What do you think, do you have maternity wear horror or happy memories?

Have a good weekend!

A Dior Wonderland

Yet again I have managed to acquire an almighty hangover which has written off two days of my life…I am just about able to function again now!

Will I ever learn?

It appears not!

Anyhow enough of that, onto a more enjoyable topic…

Thursday evening saw the launch of Dior at Harrods, a pop up project which includes a pop up shop, a cafe, exhibition and window displays ; all dedicated to the one and only Christian Dior.

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Dior’s love affair with Harrods stretches back to the late 1940’s, the fashion house once staged its fashion shows at London’s most famous store. It therefore seems very fitting that the fourth floor at Harrods is home for the next month to this amazing Dior homage, closing its doors on 14th April.

The installation has apparently taken 18 months to create and having read a few reviews, I can’t wait to get there!

So what can we expect to find?

Well, the following according to Vogue:

“The store’s fourth floor Georgian Restaurant has been transformed into a Dior homage, complete with a giant doll’s house which inside features tiny furniture made using J’Adore Dior fragrance bottles; dresses worn by the label’s famous fans, from Diana, Princess of Wales, to Elizabeth Taylor; beautiful black and white imagery taken from the brand’s archives; videos explaining the concept behind its campaigns; and Dior versions of famous London landmarks – from post boxes to telephone boxes. Its window displays feature mini versions of the capital’s attractions, including Tower Bridge and the London Eye, each bearing a Dior stamp. Its pop-up store – which sells a collection of exclusive products – has already proved a success in just one day’s opening, having already made over £100,000 before 5pm yesterday.”

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The Belgium born designer, Raf Simons was appointed as Dior’s Creative Director last April, more than a year after John Galliano’s dismissal for anti-semitic remarks. His aim is to keep one eye of the history of the brand whilst creating a very modern Dior.

Within the exhibition, and floating inside huge glass bell jars, are Raf’s beautifully hand sewn interpretations of Mr Dior’s original couture pieces.

If these are anything to go by it would appear that he has mission accomplished.

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I think it’s all sounding like a good day out, if for no other reason than the lobster sandwich currently being served in the Dior Cafe…I’d definitely like one of those!!

Will you be going?

Until next time…