Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fashion Blog: The Net-A-Porter Sale Has Started

The sale has started today in the UK, in the USA it has been in full swing for a good few weeks now. It must be long awaited, as the site has been busy all day, I have had a few sneak peeks in-between the "busy" sign, it looks good! I am pleased that quality stores have reverted back to the traditional Boxing day sale this year rather than a pre-Christmas sale. It just seems right!

Cheap 'n' Chic Alternative...
If you're a bit short of cash after Christmas, you can send off a beloved designer handbag that requires some TLC to The Handbag Spa (part of the Furniture Clinic) where the super skilled team will refurbish your bag, remove stains, restore the handles and much more! You can even send pictures of your bag via email to receive an estimated refurbishment price.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fashion Blog: Investment Piece... Chloe Classic Necktie Silk Crepe De Chine Blouse

A couple of years ago I was on the fence as the whether to buy a Chloe silk blouse with a slim self coloured tie neck detail in white. I viewed it quite a few times at, it was chic and sophisticated worn with a brown skinny belt. In the end I opted for a Zara imitation of this shirt in white silk at £39.99 (similar here).

Today the Zara shirt is still going strong in my wardrobe although the silk is a little lack lustre after quite a few "delicate machine washes" on the silk setting with Ecover Delicate. I had decided to replace this Zara piece this year, I have certainly had my moneys worth out of it it has been worn regularly.

I took delivery (very excitedly) of this Chloe Silk Blouse a couple of months ago, it looks great with the Rag and Bone NY wool city shorts I blogged about a few months ago teamed with some ankle boots (this trio is what I am wearing Christmas Eve with thermal opaque tights for some post flight Christmas cocktails). The Chloe Necktie silk crepe de chine blouse is available at £600 UK / USA $995.

The cut is a semi fitted design and the neck tie is not too bulky. It has pretty, but understated "diamondy" buttons on the cuffs and the sleeve fit is good.

A great investment piece that will be loved, worn and dry cleaned for amy years to come.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Time Out: Simple Pre-Christmas Dinner Table Setting

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I will be on a flight. Today I am hosting a pre-Christmas dinner for a few friends. Getting a group together for chat and smiles is one of the big bonuses of the festive season, everyone feels jolly enough to make the time in their hectic schedules.

Knowing I would be here today, gone tomorrow! I wanted to set up an attractive but Christmas-sy table setting trying to use as much tableware I already had, to avoid waste of perishable items.

All I purchased for the table setting was:
1. A Bag of Fresh Cranberries £2.49
2. 6 Giant Gold Chocolate Coins @ £1.49 each
All from

I strategically only used Italian glass tumblers on the table, leaving the wine glasses in the kitchen to serve wine as the guests arrived.
I used ribbon as napkin rings around starched linen napkins and garnished the "whiteness" of the plate setting with a gold bauble.
I like layering up a table setting, 1. Red raffia mat, 2, Gold Charger,  3.White bone china dinner late, 4. Porcelain heart shaped bowl all finished off with softer looking gold touches.
I decorated the desk in the dining room with a very large, chunky, porcelain bowl filled with fur cones (usually meant for the fire!) and red nutmegs.
The cake is a celebration cake ordered in advance from Entertaining, Vanilla Sponge Celebration Cake 25cm £16.00 (a light sponge sandwich with a buttercream and jam centre, covered with smooth white icing). The Christmas decorations are from my store cupboard purchased a few years ago and re-used each year. The other items (Liberty snow globe, crystal jug, glass ice bucket etc. were gifts given to me in years gone by that I love and re-use each Christmas.
Giant gold chocolate coins are fun as coasters and party favours for guests to take home.
I purchased these fab hallmark crackers in the sale last year with 75% off!
The centre piece layered from the bottom up 1. A piece of slate, 2. A red raffia mat, 3. Lots of gold baubles, 4. A hurricane lamp, 5. A candle & 6. A bag of fresh cranberries.
I love to combine red and white at Christmas. This raisied white porcelain dish looks very festive with Lindor shiney red truffles in an enticing pile.
And by candlelight...

Including gold glittery elements to the table setting added a glisten here and there when the candles were lit.
I kept the food simple too, I wanted to spend time with my guests. I roasted a turkey crown - made easy by - I ordered it online a couple of weeks ago, it was £23.19. Not only was the collection in-store seamless from handing over my order number to seeing the bird arrive on a tray in the lift! for me to take away, but I was overjoyed to see the turkey crown had been pre-weighed, the cooking time calculated and printed on the front, and it was supplied in a handy roasting bag! I proudly made Delia Smith's Pork, Sage & Onion Stuffing, with roast potatoes, a selection steamed vegetables and gravy of course.

Knowing that all guests would be pretty stuffed after the main course, we spent some time chatting. Then I then served a small piece of cake with coffee and cream instead of a rich Christmas pudding.


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