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Monday, 25 February 2013

Oscars 2013 - Best dressed

Here's a quick round up of my fave Oscar dresses.

Absolutely loved Catherine Zeta Jones in the ornate gold Zuhair Murad dress.  Her make up was flawless - not "caked on" as said in The Daily Fail! She always channels old Hollywood glamour and looked truly fabulous.

Catherine Zeta Jones in Zuhair Murad

I always look forward to Halle Berry's Oscar outfit and she didn't disappoint for me in this lurex Atelier Versace number with a plunging neckline, reminded me of the Egyptians!

Halle Berry in Atelier Versace

Jennifer Lawrence looked totally gorgeous in Dior, hugging her figure in all the right places.  Who cares if she fell over!  SHE WON!  Such a beautiful shaped dress and such gorgeous self-patterned jacquard fabric.

Best Actress Winner Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
Jessica Chastain was the 1st celeb I saw on the red carpet and she looked the true Jessica Rabbit starlet in her gold glittery Armani Prive dress.  Accented with her delectably coiffured locks and fabulous red lipstick.  Understated chic.

Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive
Charlize Theron - always dedicated to Dior - in this white number with a short elfin crop.

Charlize Theron in Dior
There was some monochrome on show too with Kelly Rowland and Zoe Saldana.

Kelly Rowland in Donna Karan Atelier

Zoe Saldana in Alexis Mabille

Now for pops of colour.  The Oscars would not be complete without some Marchesa, and this years was Fan Bing's turn in fuchsia duchess satin. Such beautiful rich material and elegant shape.

Fan Bing in Marchesa Pink Duchess Satin
And Jennifer Aniston looking pretty as a picture in red Valentino.

And last, but by no means least, super trim Jennifer Hudson in a sexy slash neck blue thigh-splitting Roberto Cavalli dress

Some great outfits.  What were your faves?
Kate x

Sunday, 20 January 2013

2nd Day Sally Jeans

I felt compelled to write this post after obsessing over the 2nd Day Sally jeans.
I won a Facebook competition with BlackWhiteDenim (@BlackWhiteDenim) which gave me £150 towards any 2nd Day item. So when I headed over to the fabulous BlackWhiteDenim in Wilmslow in November, the wonderful Jo (@JoBWdenim) advised I try on the black coated Sally skinny jean (£125)

The jeans immediately felt über comfy. Really stretchy. As they are standard 33" leg (and my legs are not!) I have to ruche them at the bottom,but due to the material, and the fact I tend to wear with tucked into boots (also bought from Jo! The By Malene Birger Demetra boots! See post here this didn't pose me an issue. So what a great prize I left the store with!

I have to say, these are my "go-to" jeans as you can dress them up and down. The coated, waxy finish makes them quite appealing for evenings, but tucked into biker boots gives them the funky casual look. I've even been wearing tights underneath them with the recent sub-zero temperatures we've been experiencing, without compromising any comfort.

They are the "go-to" jean due to them being just so comfortable.

Get the look:
(Top right) Biker boots from Karen Millen in the sale - 30% off
(Bottom right) By Malene Birger Demetra Boots from BlackWhiteDenim

It is so important to find a brand of jeans that feel great and look fab too.
Jo really knows what suits her customers and has an intrinsic knowledge of that we want, before we know! That's some service right there!

The jeans have quirky labels and the I love the logo etched on the hem of the jeans as shown above.

2nd Day is the sister collection of uber-successful Danish brand Day Birger et Mikkelsen. Originally described as having a contemporary bohemian vibe accompanied by elements of twenties glamour, the new sub-label, 2nd Day, is a sexier and more exciting branch to their brand.

So, when I spotted these jeans half price whilst browsing online, I got my credit card out quicker than you could say Day Birger. I opted for another pair in black as well as blue.

They're a great midnight blue shade, so am über excited about their arrival.
I'd like to thank Jo of BlackWhiteDenim for introducing me to these jeans! I'll be living in them for sure.

Shop all 2nd Day right here
What's your "go-to" jean brand?

Looking forward to your comments!
Kate xxx

Monday, 14 January 2013

Golden Globes 2013

Just catching up on the Red Carpet arrivals and here are my faves.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior.  Classy. Stunning. Polished.

A glowing Halle Berry rocking Versace, looking amazing as per usual!

Taylor Swift in a stunning aubergine mermaid Donna Karen fluted number

Jennifer Lopez looking pretty spectacular in a nude lace figure hugging Zuhair Murad number

Lea Michelle in Elie Saab elegance personified

Salma looking fabulous in black sparkly Gucci.

Amy Adams rocking the old Hollywood glamour in Marchesa

Heidi Klum looking amazing in this one shoulder white sparkly number

Jessica Alba's dark olive skin complimented by this Summery orange hue by Oscar de la Renta

Kate Hudson looking super sleek and stylish in McQueen

Love this simple yet figure enhancing & sophisticated sparkly blue frock worn by Nancy O'Dell

There are more, but the above are my faves.  What are yours? x

Friday, 4 January 2013

New Shearling Jacket

Well, I don't know about you, but I love me some shearling. Have always loved it, but been hankering after one when Jo from BlackWhiteDenim refused to give me hers! I did ask nicely, but it didn't work!

So I went on the hunt at the start of the AW12 season and saw this J Brand Caitlyn cap sleeved one from Donna Ida denim.

Jo and I agreed it was far too expensive, so thought nothing further of it.

That was until I saw the email from Donna Ida, and I saw this jacket had been reduced by a whopping 75%. I couldn't believe my eyes. So I clicked to buy quicker than you can say Shaun the Sheep. And as my good twitter friend Lisa pointed out (@stylisa), they're practically giving it away!

The blurb said that the fit was loose, so I tweeted Donna herself, who replied within minutes to downsize, so I did.

I have to say, the service has been remarkable. I love the service you get from independent stores, as they want your business. They go above and beyond the call of duty, and this makes me want to part with my cash. Donna is an avid twitter user and I love her tales of Starbucks addiction & tearing around London to exceed her client's needs.

Anytime I get a delivery at work, I'm made to give the full cat walk (so this happens often you understand!) model show, and get opinions. The 65 year old security guard loved it. As did my Work Mum, though she was short of breath when she saw the original price tag. It was a good job she was sitting down!

It is super warm and incredibly soft so will be an AW staple for years to come.

Hope you like!
Kate x

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 Best Buys

Happy New Year one and all!

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Xmas and New Year this year.  Mine was relaxing and full of Family Fun & Frolics.

2012 has been a good year for me, seeing the birth of my niece, my Sis turned 40, had a great year at work, and seen lots of my wonderful family.  It has not all been plain sailing as one of my Bro-in-Law's has not got to the bottom of his arrhythmia heart defect - see previous post - resulting in 2 shocks a few days ago, rendering him hospitalised, but let's hope he stabilises in 2013.

Anyway, as it is now 2013, I thought I would share some of my best purchases in 2012.

1st up, I think it has to be the YSL Tributes, that I bought when I went for a cocktail in HNs in Manchester.  That was one expensive cocktail!

See previous post for the full low down, but suffice to say, it was all Stylisa's fault!

I think the next fabulous purchase had to be my retina screen iPad.  Previously called the iPad 3 before it was renamed after the introduction of the lightening connector.

I did not need an iPad. I now wouldn't be without it!  I also had to buy the pink Marc Jacobs cover which is padded (from HN's Manchester), so absolutely great! The iPad is great for quick and easy to access the internet, email etc.  However, I don't use it for blogging as the app is not great.

A classic dress is next.  I love this Phase Eight Penelope dress.  I love monochrome anyway, and this 60s shift dress style really suits my shape.  It was also reduced, so it would have been rude not to purchase!

Next up is my Michael Kors bag.  I needed a lighter coloured classic bag, so when I spotted this in the US, it was a no brainer.  Especially as it was more than £100 cheaper in the US than over here.  I also got amazing service in Nordstrom as I had a credit card nightmare.  The CC company thought there were fraudulent purchases going on - little did they know it was just me shopping!  You'd have thought they would know by now, right?!

I absolutely love this tote and get loads of comments each time I wear it.  Very versatile too with the shoulder strap.

Next up is my iPhone 5.  Despite needing to leave T-Mobile and taking my custom to O2, and having a customer service nightmare, I absolutely love my iPhone 5 and can often be found surgically attached to it.

I had the 3GS before, so this in comparison is on another level totally. It is super fast, and as I got the 64GB one, I have all my beloved photos stored on it - all 11,000!

Whilst the next item isn't technically MY purchase, it is a purchase for me!  So I need to include it as it was the 1st purchase  from my Niece.  I was a very surprised Aunty when she gave me this on my birthday this year!  What impeccable taste she has!  She was just 4 months then - she clearly has Aunty's shopping gene!

This was bought from local Sheffield boutique Lizziz on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield who stocks lots of Missoni and Anya Hindmarch accessories as well as By Malene Birger, Halston Heritage and more.  I love this scarf as it is shiny, with lurex, I love the magenta colouring, and it is from my niece - so pretty much perfect.

And finally, my final purchase of 2012, relatively speaking, not including Xmas and bits and bobs are my By Malene Birger black Demetra boots.  I bought them from the lovely Jo at BlackWhiteDenim (@BlackWhiteDenim) when we headed over there for a tweet up end-November.  I met up with Selina (mrs_monkeycat), Penny (@PJC16 who came over from New Zealand) as well as Jo herself (@JoBWDenim) and Fashion Boy (JordanJMcDowell) and the lovely Pippa from Rumpus Resort (@P_RumpusResort).

By Malene Birger Demetra Boots. Buy from BWD here

Jo's customer service is 2nd to none, making me feel as if passing over my hard earned cash was almost a favour to me!  This is the type of customer service that everyone should adopt.

These boots are super sexy yet very comfy and have pretty much lived in them the last month!

So I shall leave you with my happy smiley beauty and wish you all a fabulous fun-filled 2013.

With lots of love

Thursday, 20 September 2012

iPhone 5 Farce

On the eve of the iPhone launch and needing a new phone, anyone would think that T-Mobile didn't want me to part with my hard earned cash. So, here's the chain of events.

Still having the iPhone 3GS without backlight, I'm pretty keen to upgrade to the iPhone 5. I've been out of contract - awaiting the iPhone 5 launch - for several months. So I tweeted @tmobileuk who helpfully sent me the iPhone 5 upgrade option link. So a good start!

I then assumed that the (extortionate!) deals mentioned surely must be for new customers. Not deals for someone with 15 years of loyal custom.

How wrong I was.

So T-Mobile do not reward loyalty it seems.

So having spoken to 5 different people a few nights ago, being passed from pillar to post, and having to give my password about 4 times, I got pretty much nowhere.

A helpful Scottish manager, Joe, called me back, but reiterated the point that I had to pay the device fee of £219. I have historically received £100-£150 towards the device. This doesn't apply to the iPhone 5.

So, why would an innovative forward-thinking company think that a customer would want an archaic device on which they could apply a discount?! A bit of an insult, no?!

Having resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't get a better deal, and I'd only be £160 better off over 2-years if I bought the device outright, I thought I'd bite the bullet and upgrade online.

Simple right?!


I always get all my online deliveries sent to work. As it's convenient for me. You know, being the paying customer and all! T-Mobile won't allow this.

So keeping positive, I thought well, I'll select the "deliver to store" option.

It's not an option.

So STILL trying to keep positive, I thought I'd call them AGAIN to arrange this option.

It's NOT an option!

The option was "change your home address to be your work address, then we can deliver to your work address."

My response: "Oh! So in your quest for security (and the need to submit your inside leg measurement online for security reasons!) and only delivering to the billing address, you're advising me to commit fraud by changing my address, where my card is NOT ACTUALLY REGISTERED!"

Their response: "Well....errrr....yeah."

THEEEN, the phone went dead from Jovial Geordie Neil! So, I thought, oh he'll ring me back, we just got cut off.

I'm still waiting!

He did tell me I had £300 for being a loyal customer that I can do absolutely nothing with. Great.

So here we are. On the eve of the iPhone 5 launch, without the ability to upgrade.

So T-Mobile, I want to know how you're going to sort this mess out!

Yours impatiently

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Music Maestro

Goodness me, I have not posted a blog in about 6 weeks!  So I am hopping back to it here and now!  In addition, to all things beauty and fashion, I love music.

It picks me up when down
It motivates me when working out
It reminds me of certain eras and people
It sends me to sleep at night

Without music I am nothing. 

Wherever I am in the house I have my radio and/or TV on.  Often both!  I like noise and atmos!

I suppose I have my Mum & Dad to thank for getting me into music.  We still talk now how Billy Joel kept us going during those long car journeys to Torquay when we were young (my 2 sisters and I).  52nd Street is a such a sentimental album to me as we were pretty much raised on Billy Joel.  Big Shot.  Stiletto. Rosalinda's Eyes.  All Billy classics.

Also, Elton John's Yellow Brick Road and Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits album featured heavily in my childhood.  My Mum also loved Dionne Warwick and Elkie Brookes.  Ms. Warwick's dulcet tones of Heartbreaker and Elkie's raspy soul voice singing Pearl's A Singer were often blaring throughout the house.

My own music tastes are pretty varied.  Billy Joel will always hold a special place in my heart as this is the singer that resonates with me the most.  I do though adore all things soul and lots of happy handbag vocal piano house music.

The world became a better place when the gifted Luther Vandross blessed us with his silky smooth honey dipped voice.  What. A. Singer.  I was 1st introduced to Luther by my friend's boyfriend.  He used to come around to our house with his vinyl records and play them, filling the air with this beautiful & flawless soul sounds.  The 1st Luther album I listened to was Give Me The Reason.  An absolute classic to this day.

I was lucky enough to see Luther in concert several times, and he did not disappoint live where so many artists do.  I remember one story he told of pinching an ashtray from Roberta Flack's house as a momento as he was so in awe of her!  He sang to a recently married couple.  He was quite the entertaining gentleman.

My Luther Faves include:
Stevie Wonder is pretty much in the same league as Luther for me.  I took my sister to his concert at the MEN in Manchester a few years ago.  It. Was. Spectacular.  "Do I Do" is my all time Stevie fave.  Absolutely love this track!

Like most people my age, I really got into the clubbing scene from the age of 16.  I had many friends at school who were heavily into their music and a friend of mine even made a career out of it ( in addition to his 80 hour/week city lawyer job!).  I used to love DJs including Jeremy Healy, Alastair Whitehead, Graeme Park and Masters at Work.

We all used to go to the Music Factory in Sheffield most weekends.  We would also travel around to big clubs when superstar DJs were playing including MAW.  You would always hear Matt & Lee discussing "back to back" in the day of the Technics 1210s!  Of course we have gone digital since then!

There was nothing more euphoric than an awesome lyric heavy tune filling a club with a banging bass line and the place would just go mental.  Absolutely brilliant.

I loved Jeremy Healy's Smooth Criminal as his opening track.  I went crazy for Graeme Park's remix of Back to Love.  I danced my pants off when Lisa Lisa Let The Beat 'Em came on.  The same goes for Inner City's Pennies from Heaven.

In fact, one of the best gigs I have EVER been to was when the Brand New Heavies played at Ronnie Scotts last year.  Small and intimate with the acid house vibe reverberating around the dimly lit room.  We all started off refined and sitting down.  We all finished up on our feet, dancing around like mentalists.  Unbelievable.  It was amazing! 

There is no better dance track for me than Sounds of Blackness Foundation Mix of Everything's Gonna Be Alright.  A sure fire winner anytime!

I have found 2 Soul Sisters on twitter in Sarah & Selina (@saraharah and @mrs_monkeycat).  We always share music tastes and @ each other when we hear fabulous choonage at the gym, on the radio or generally out and about!

Music is a real bonding mechanism and common ground finder!

What really prompted me to write this blog post was my scouring on Amazon yesterday for Hed Kandi's original  Back to Love with ALL my favourite club tracks on.  Ever.  Amen.  So I bought it - 2nd hand as new is £50.

Check out this track list!

1. Saturday Night Sunday Morning (T-Empo Mix)-T-Empo
2. Shine On (Original 12 Inch)-Degrees Of Motion
3. Got A Love For You (Hurley's House Mix)-Jomanda
4. Space Cowboy (Morales Classic Club Mix)-Jamiroquai
5. Where Love Lives (Come On In)-Alison Limerick
6. Reachin' (Latin Workout Mix)-Phase 2
7. Tears (Classic Vocal)-Frankie Knuckles
8. That's The Way Love Is (Deep House Mix)-Ten City
9. Right Before My Eyes (House Vocal Mix)-Patti Day
10. Promised Land (Original Mix)-Joe Smooth
11. Back To Love (Graeme Park Remix)-The Brand New
12. Sunshine On A Rainy Day (Original 12 Inch
13. Ghetto Heaven-The Family Stand
14. The Masterplan (Extende Version)-Diana Brown And
15. Apparently Nothin' (Original 12 Inch Mix)-Young
16. Got To Have Your Love (12 Inch Club)-Mantronix
17. Let The Beat Hit'Em-Lisa Lisa And The Cult Jam
18. Musical Freedom (12 Inch Mix)-Paul Simpson
19. Ain't Nobody (Original Version)-Rufus & Chaka
20. Going Back To My Roots (Original)-Richie Havens
21. All This Love That I'm Giving (Original
22. Optimistic (Album Version)-Sounds Of Blackness

So there you have it, an insight into my musical tastes and favourite tracks.

What are your fave tunes?  Do you find music motivates you?  Transforms your mood?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Kate xxx