About Me

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hi, I am a 40+ year old who loves jewellery and all things sparkly. I also enjoy trying out and reviewing new makeup products, finding stylish walking sticks, reading and writing book reviews. I will review anything from bird tables/ hedgehog houses to the latest fashion! My Instagram account is @sparkling_magpie

Monday, 31 October 2016

November Birthstones: Topaz &Citrine

November's birthstones are topaz and citrine. Both these stones are known for their calming energies and bring good luck and warmth to those who wear them.

Topaz is taken from Topazio - Ancient Greek for St John's island in the red sea.Topaz stones vary from colourless to brownish yellow, the most expensive is Imperial topaz as it is orange with pink undertones.   Topaz is mined in Brazil, Pakistan, US, Russia, Australia and Nigeria.  As Topaz measures at an 8 it is a strong stone but can be prone to chipping.  Topaz is a calming stone thought to calm tempers and cure both nightmares and madness. 


Citrine is a variety of the quartz gemstone.  The name is taken from citron meaning fruit.  The colour of the stone ranges from pale yellow to orangish brown.  Citrine is mined in Brazil, Russia, Madagascar Spain and Bolivia.  It has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, making it ideal for large chunky jewellery as it is able to withstand chips and everyday wear and tear.  Citrine is known as the healing stone due to its ability to heal, sooth and comfort.  It also attracts wealth and prosperity.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Pet Portrait Pendant

I asked Valerie Harrison, the owner and illustrator of riedesigned if she could do a mini portrait of my friend's dog to be used as a pendant. This is what she came up with. The pendant and portrait (A4 size) are unique as she based the final picture on several photos I sent to her. The whole process took less than a week and would make a great Christmas  or birthday present for a pet owner. 

I purchased these items myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own. Riedesigned can be found at: http://riedesigned.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Tourmaline Ear Crawlers: A Review

I purchased these multi stone tourmaline sterling silver ear crawlers for £42.11 (not including postage) from Handmadejewelstore on Etsy.  They each have four different coloured tourmaline stones (4mm, 3.5 mm, 3mm and 2.5mm) and are set in sterling silver. As mentioned in my October birthstone blog, tourmaline is the birthstone for October. 

The Earrings came in a little cloth bag and were packed in a Jiffy bag which had to be signed for. As they are made to order plus they came from India the time it took from order to delivery was around 8 days. Customer service was great. They emailed to tell me when my item was ready to be dispatched.  

The earrings fit along the earlobe. The earring post fits along the back of the ear so there is no need for a butterfly to secure it. You just put the post on and push and squeeze the post until it is secure and in position. The earrings feel very comfortable.  They fit flat along the ear and even when I have been fiddling with my hearing aid I haven't knocked them out of position.  They look very unusual and expensive- I haven't seen any ear crawlers like this in all my years of buying/ admiring/ window shopping jewellery. Handmadejewelstore also made ear crawlers on other stones and other finishes and had some unusual rings at reasonable prices so I know where my Christmas money will be spent!

I purchased the ear crawlers myself and the views expressed here are my own.  


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Accessorize Rose Gold Filigree Disc Short Earrings: A Review

These earrings are designed by Zara Simon as part of her Z for Accessorize range.  They are £10 and are made of rose gold plated metal (75%) and glass (25%) with semi precious stone embellishments. This is the first time I have had some Z jewellery which hasn't stated what the embellishments are made out of. The earrings came on a swing tag and as I ordered online also came wrapped in bubble wrap and in the normal branded Accessorize packaging. 
The earrings are very light, elegant and tiny, once they have been put in it is easy to forget you are wearing them as they are so light! They have fish wire hooks so there is no need to struggle with the back of butterfly closures - I have dexterity problems and cannot reach across to hold the earring in my ear whilst I clip in the back of the butterfly to the back of the earring to secure it, so this is much easier. Just slide in and they are ready to go! I really like these earrings. As with all Z for Accessorize jewellery they look more expensive than they actually are and the filigree design makes then stand out and look unusual. 

I bought these earrings myself and they can be found here: http://uk.accessorize.com/view/product/uk_catalog/acc_2,acc_2.4/1815298200

Monday, 17 October 2016

Auren Jewellery: A Review

Auren was established in 2010 by Kate Rodgers, offering luxurious, wearable and original yet  affordable jewellery (prices start from around £37.50 for 18ct vermeil teardrop labradorite rose cut stud earrings at John Lewis). Auren jewellery is both comfortable to wear and timeless - it doesn't bow to fashion trends so will never become outdated.  Jewellery is made from either 18ct or 22ct gold vermeil on silver and the cuts, shapes and settings always enhance the semi precious and precious stones used in the pieces.

I have got the 18ct  gold vermeil Aqua chalcedony rose cut stud earrings and the 18ct vermeil diamond slice ring from the 2015 collection.  The earrings are very light and comfortable to wear. The pastel hue of the stone looks great against dark winter clothes as well as summer lighter colours. They are understated and elegant but the rose cut means that the light glances of the stone showing off the chalcedony perfectly. 

The ring is very light and comfortable to wear due the narrowness of the shank. It may be understated piece but it stands out in its unusualness of design.

I purchased these items myself.

Auren's website: http://aurenjewellery.com/
IG: @aurenjewellery

Auren jewellery can be found at:
John Lewis: https://m.johnlewis.com/b/women/jewellery-watches/view-all-jewellery/auren/_/N-
V& A shop: 5w5jZ1z13oea

Walking Stick with Bell and Cup Holder

Found this for £17.43 with free delivery from Amazon.co.uk. Made from beech wood with a furrule and brass handle, this unisex stick is 90 cm and comes with a bell and cup holder. I imagine it is quite hard to use when it is holding a hot beverage and the chance of spillage is quite high! It's a fun concept but I would be suspicious of buying any stick from a company that described it as "a traditional old farts stick"!

The stick can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B015WH7ZG2/ref=aw_wl_ov_dp_1_3?colid=K9R6ITE0R3SA&coliid=IFARRS9SQ2C2X

Nikki Stark Jewellery Rose Gold & Rose Quartz Orbit Stacking Rings: A Review

These Orbit rose gold stacking rings(£115) are by Nikkistarkjewellery and they are most recent and favourite jewellery purchase. They are rose gold, one of them has a tiny Rose quartz stone, the other is a rose gold button (you can choose the size of the button small or large and you can also choose from a variety of stones which include labradorite, milky opal and tourmaline).  The shank of the ring is 1mm so it is very slender and comfortable to wear. The rings fit seemlessly together and are very light to wear.   The rings can be stacked or look great worn singly. The rings are made to order and take 2-3 weeks to make.  They come in a black plastic embossed little box.  You can also buy each ring on its own.   These rings are not resize able but she will send out a ring sizer if you are unsure before she makes your ring. I love my ring, I finally have found a design which doesn't trigger my neuropathict pain so much and they are so comfortable to wear. They are very understated so if you like flashy, large rings these aren't for you. I got a 20% discount code as a Thankyou for purchasing so  the only decision now is which stone to choose next!  

Taken at dusk to catch the rose goldeness of the gold!
I purchased the rings myself and all views expressed in this blog are my own. 

Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/nikkistarkjewellery?ref=condensed_trust_header_title_items
Ring: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/255828585/rose-quartz-and-9ct-rose-gold-rings-set?ref=cat_gallery_20

IG: @nikkistarkjewellery

Friday, 7 October 2016

Jewellery Advent Calendars 2016: £5-£179

Jewellery advents are a fun way to expanding your jewellery collection or to give as a gift to someone as a way of introducing them to the world of jewellery.  I have found some that range from £5-179 and a couple are housed in reusable jewellery boxes. 
This one is the cheapest and is from Monsoon. It is £5 and comes with 25 pairs of stick on earrings. 

This unicorn advent is £10 from Accessorize.   This is aimed at little girls and each door has either stick on earrings or a ring behind it. There is a blue advent for £15. This has a necklace and a bracelet plus 22 seasonal charms.

This is from Kramer.co.uk and is £19.90 for 24 horse themed jewellery charm and 4 bracelets.  These are nickel free.

The Meri Meri Nutcracker Jewellery Box Advent Calendar s £21 from trouva.com but prices range slghtly in price depending upon the website (it is £18.99 at partypieces.co.uk).  There is a jewellery box (4.3"x 6.7"), 1 braceet and 23 festive charms.

This is from Amazon.co.uk.  It is £23.72 plus £4.49 delivery.  It is by Nici and the charms can be put on a wrist wrap hair clip or bobble/ elastic band.
This is from Etsy and the seller is Pearls of Symphony.  There are 24 earrings with a choice of handmade jewellery/box/advent.

This is from Johnnylovesrosie.com.  It is £55   It is filled with jewellery which have either gold or silver plated metal finishes.  There is a surprise of a fine chain necklace, earrings or a ring behind each door..  
    This is the most expensive at £179 from tresacharms.com but it was on wowcher.co.uk last year so keep an eye out for it being cheaper there. This advent has 24 pieces which include 18k and silver plated overlay murano beads, earrings, necklaces, watches and bracelets.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these jewellery advents and enjoy opening whatever advents you receive whether they be chocolate, lego or jewellery!

Pandora Pudsey Bear is Baaaack!

Children in Need's annual appeal is back on 18 November 2016 with Pudsey the Bear at the helm. Pandora has made a limited edition charm for £40 or a range of Pudsey plus bracelet with prices ranging between £95-£185. 20% of the proceeds go to the Children in Need appeal. It is a cute 3D charm made from sterling silver with a multi coloured eye patch.  He is instantly identifiable and would make a great gift for any age. 


Pudsey can be found at:



and all Pandora stockists.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

#Ottoman Hands Symbol Scorpio Semi Precious Rings: A Review

Today I am going to be reviewing a set of gold plated semi precious (opal) rings by Ottoman Hands. I purchased mine from Asos and the link can be found at the bottom of the page.

Ottoman Hands were established in 2009 by Deniz Gurdal and is a British based company heavily influenced by Turkish design. Working closely with Turkish gem cutters and artisans they create unusual distinctive pieces that are eyecatching but affordable. Starting off in Portobello Road Market Ottoman Hands are now stocked at Asos, House of Fraser, John Lewis and they also have their own website and online store. 

The rings are made from brass have a gold plated finish. It looks quite a refined muted gold not fake and brassy as some gold plate appears. One ring is embellished with tiny semi precious stone and the shanks for both rings are slim and comfortable to wear even if you have arthritis or neuropathic pain in your hands. The rings come just in one size and in the model picture are midi rings. As my fingers are thin I wear them as normal rings. They can be worn several ways, together or separately. The rings come in a little velveteen bag stamped with the Ottoman Hands logo and as they are on £8 would make a great Christmas stocking gift or gift for a friend. 

I purchased my rings through Asos so got them within 2 days of ordering them. Asos often have discounted Ottoman and other named jewellery items on sale so it is well worth keeping an eye on their site for a jewellery bargain. 


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Switch to Switch Sticks!

When I was first advised to use a stick I was given an NHS clumpy grey, heavy stick with a handle that was uncomfortable and too big for my hand. After looking on the internet I came across Switch Sticks. These sticks are colourful, have comfortable handles and are collapsible. There are plain, engraved, patterned sticks,  seat sticks, accessories and they have just introduced colourful crutches. The stick comes collapsed in a cardboard box and a little material carry bag (see above picture).  They also come with a matching furule and wrist strap. The sticks are adjustable from 32"-37" and take weight up to 19 stone. 

When I first started buying switch sticks they offered an adjustment service (I am only 4 ft 8" so anything above petite is too big for me) and petite sticks. Since they branched out to Boots/ Argos etc they seemed to have lost the personal touch and no longer offer petite (or tall) sticks. When I emailed them they did say you could cut up to 3" off the bottom without damaging the collapsible mechanism. I still buy switch sticks and they are my first choice when I want a new stick- the new gold one looks very flashy and eyecatching! as they are bright, comfortable and affordable! It's just a faff to find someone to cut it down for me. I have noticed that if you shop around you can get your Boots points if you buy at Boots and Anazon quite often has some good deals too. 

Switch sticks website is here: https://www.switchsticks.co.uk/store.asp/c=31
They are also available at Amazon UK , Boots online and some stores, Argos and some other online retailers. 
I purchased these sticks myself and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.