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hi, I am a 41 year old who loves jewellery and all things sparkly.My Instagram account is @sparkling_magpie

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Beak Knows: Anna Sui Fantasia Eau de Toilette 30ml


Fantasia Eau de Toilette (£33 for 30ml, £45 for 50ml, £55 for 75ml) is the much anticipated new fragrance by Anna Sui. Coveted as much for the intricate bottle design, a unicorn standing upon a bottle which looks almost like an acorn with little flowers engraved on it, as much as the fragrance itself, it is a floral, fruity gourmand yet woodsy fragrance. The unicorn and bottle accents are gold tone and the Anna Sui logo is embossed on the neck of the bottle.   The top notes are pink pomelo and pink pepper.  The heart are floral - violet, orange flower, pastel orchid and raspberry praline and the base notes are golden cypress and Himalayan cedar wood.  At first the fragrance is very sweet and raspberry, but as it settles the base notes become more apparent, leaving a lovely lingering, fresh and unique pine, woodsy smell.  It is not a traditional cutesy candy gourmand scent as the woodsy, pine notes contrast with the floral, raspberry chocolatey notes it is a grown up feminine fragrance with enough depth to be a great winter perfume.


I bought this for the Instagramable bottle as much as the actual fragrance but I have found myself reaching quite often for it.   

I purchased this item myself.
Available from Amazon UK

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Book Review: One Night Exotic Fantasies (Mills & Boon)

One Night Exotic Fantasies is a three in one Mills and Boon which contains three previously published books. These books represent good value as they are normally cheaper than purchasing the book individually and a great introduction to new authors.   I would suggest checking before you buy as I have sometimes purchased books I have already read.

 One Night in Paradise by Maisey Yates involves Claire Davies agreeing to marry Zack Parsons after he is dumped at the Altar as he needs a wife to introduce to a prospective business partner.  

Pirate Tycoon, Forbidden Baby by Janette Kenny consists of the pirate tycoon, Andre Gauthier kidnapping his mistress, Kira and taking her away to his Caribbean hideaway.  He is convinced she is hiding secrets from him and has betrayed him to his enemy whilst she has to tell him that she is pregnant.  

Prince Nadir's Secret Heir by Michelle Conder is the traditional sheikh romance.  Prince Nadir has a brief romance with Moulin Rouge dancer Imogen, resulting in a baby daughter.  He has to persuade her to marry him to legitimise his heir.  

Normally the three in one books are based on a theme: sheikhs, billionaires etc.  This one seems to be thrown together and although I enjoyed reading all three books I would have preferred to have read several books with the same theme.

I received my copy from NetGalley and Mills and Boon as I am a Mills & Boon Insider  but this does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.

Available from:
Amazon UK

Friday, 22 September 2017

Sticks & Stones: Birds of a Feather

Birds, especially British birds, autumnal forest green, deep plum and other such dark colours all make great autumnal colours and patterns.  I like to switch up my wardrobe around now, moving to warmer jumpers, knee length boots and longer coats.  

The British Bird walking cane that I have previously reviewed has both a robin and a blue tit embossed on it, so I normally use this stick now.  

The Melanie Tomlinson Hokusai or existing bird brooches make eye catching pieces either as brooches or when converted into necklaces.  Hermes do a gorgeous enamelled bird cuff, but if that is ot of your budget, then deCumi Designs on Etsy does a beautiful recycled aluminium bird cuff for £15 to £20.  There is a wide range of bird jewellery to be found, some purse friendly, others not so much! 

Clothes wise I found these items at Marks and Spencer.  The jumpers are £19.50, and although they  are not traditional autumnal colours, they would bring some colour in to your autumn wardrobe,  the leather jacket £240 and boots £49.50.  These items would look great with skinny jeans or a skirt and the jumpers bring some colour into wet autumn days!

All my links are non-affiliated. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

#Win #HarryPotter #Primark #jewellery


These Harry Potter jewellery items were sold recently  in Primark, you can still find them on Ebay.  They are gold toned and nicely made. They don't look cheap and they are very detailed.  If you want to enter my rafflecopter competition to win them just enter by filling in; completing as any options ar you want. This competition is open internationally. It opens on 20 September 2017 and closes 4 October 2017.  Good Luck!!!!! 

follow the link >>>>> 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Off The Eaten Path, Crunchy Pea & Pinto Bean Sticks

I found Off The Eaten Path snacks in Sainsburys.  The crunchy pea and pinto bean sticks cost £1 for 23g, and each bag contains 104 KCAL, 4.1g of fat, 0.5g sugar and 0.46g salt.  The sticks are made from pinto, green and white beans  with sea salt.  They provide a source of fibre and they are free from preservatives, do not contain artificial colours and are suitable foe vegetarians.  Nutritional information can be found here.  I think these are tastier and crunchier than your average crisp!  A grown up crunchy snack that isn't overly greasy and artificial in flavour. I enjoy trying snacky food which is easy to eat as sometimes I feel to ill to be bothered making a "proper" meal so instead I will have a packet of these, some cheese and some fruit.

I purchased mine from my Sainsbury Local and they are also available online. A 100g bag is £2.25.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

AmazonBasics Stylus for Touchscreen Devices

The AmazonBasics stylus for touchscreen devices is £9.99 with no p&p for those with Prime membership.  I have problems with spatial awareness and pain in my fingers whilst my mum has arthritis in her hands and fingers and, like me, finds it difficult to get the touchscreen to respond correctly when she touches (and misses) the icon/ letter that she wants.  This stylus is great, it has a rubber tip so the touch screen doesn't get damaged. It is quite chunky compared to some other styluses (the width of a chunky pen) so is easier to grip and can be used on all devices with capacitive touchscreens. Even if you do not have problems with your hands, this stylus would be great if you  have  long, freshly manicured nails or if you are wearing gloves on a cold day (saves taking them off). I keep mine in the box it came in so it doesn't get damaged or wacked under the settee by my cat.

I purchased this item myself.

Available from: Amazon UK

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Book Review: Orphan Sisters by Lola Jaye

Orphan Sisters by Lola Jaye is published by Ebury Press and Penguin Random House on 21st September 2017.  Orphan Sisters follows Lanre and Mayowa Cole entering 1950s Britain with their mother (Adanya) from Nigeria, to be with their father (Tayo) who had already travelled ahead to secure work and go to college.  Although initially moving to Britain is seen as a great adventure, "in England there was no conflict and no hardship" and they would "have a good and happy life" there, the girls soon see the harsh reality of  a racist 1950s London first hand. Only Auntie  Ginny, the next door neighbour, greets them with open arms.  They are faced  with signs in lodging houses that state "no blacks, no dogs, no Irish".  The headmaster at their new school insists that they are given English names that are easy to pronounce, so they become Lana and Maya.  Sadly their father dies unexpectedly and their mother has a third little girl - Tina.  With their mother unable to cope, the three little girls are put in to a care in Sir John Adams Children's home.   Lana tries desperately to keep her family together but Tina is adopted and Maya bcomes increasinly lost in her books with no friends and has to deal with Stan's harassment.

 The story follows their lives up to the 1980s.  Lana, with her childhood friend Clifton puts her energies into putting the jigsaw that is their lives back together and tracing her two sisters, Ginny and discovering what really happened to her mother.  Maya drags herself up from the underbelly, seedier side of London to become a financially successful business woman whilst Tina remains unaware that she is adopted and has two Nigerian half sisters.  Lana puts her little family back together and fits the jigsaw that is their life back together.

Beautifully written, the story is empathetic and caring to the plight of  the Cole  family.   Drawing upon black political and social history in 1950s England, Jaye tackles issues such as systemic racism and failures within social services head on, whilst also creating a story about a family that brings a tear to the reader's eye that three little girls should suffer so much sadness and loss but still be determined to carry on.

I received my copy from NetGalley, Ebury Press and Penguin Random House UK in exchange for an honest review but this does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.

Available here:
Amazon UK