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

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Z for Accessorize Adeline Semi Precious Hoop Pendant Necklace

The Z for Accessorize semi precious hoop pendant necklace (£17) matches the hoop earrings.  It is gold plated, has a lobster clasp, the z logo disc and extender chain.  Despite having several stones in the hoop it is a light necklace. Due to the pastel colours of the semi precious stones this necklace will look great ith either a winter or summer wardrobe.

I purchased this necklace myself and the views expressed in my blog are my own.
Available from:
Accessorize Website

Melanie Tomlinson Hokusai Japanese Bird Brooches

Melanie Tomlinson has designed three Japanese bird brooches for the British Museum  Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave exhibition.  This is her fourth collaboration with the museum and all three designs are sold exclusively by them.  I have reviewed her brooches on a previous blog post but wanted to write a blog post about these three pieces as they are so unique and well though out, using metal and a hand printed design inspired by the artist, Katsushika Hokusai.  

The cuckoo brooch is £45 (£40.50 British Museum members), measures 7cmx6cm and is made from hand painted metal.  I like it, but not as much as the Japanese Robin which is my favourite.

The Japanese robin has been re-imagined in to this adorable brooch.  As with the other two brooches, i is £45(£40.50 for members of the British Museum) and is made from hand painted  metal. it measures 7cmx6cm and I would wear this both as a brooch and use my necklace converter  to make it into a statement necklace.  I think this brooch looks cute and cuddly. 

The hawfinch (same details and measurements as the other two brooches) has a cheeky little glint in it's eye.  It looks as though it is eyeing the wearer suspiciously!

All three bird brooches are eye catching and unusual, a talking point and a wearable memory of  the exhibition itself.

Available from:
Cuckoo Brooch
Japanese Robin

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Imaginary Walking Stick For the 21 Century

Walking sticks/ canes are a necessity  for many people but they are, for the most part clunky, obtrusive, unwieldy and heavy items.  Over the past years they have become lighter and more fashionable.   More colours, patterns and different types of handles are now available but the perfect stick/cane has yet to be developed.

Looking at the above pictures you can see that walking sticks have progressed from the traditional silver heavy walking stick to a lighter more colourful cane. but the flaws are still there. The handles are uncomfortable if your hands are small or large.  As they are made out of aluminium they get slippy if your hands are sweaty and I am sure they could do more than just be a traditional disability  walking aid and be a device that enhances a person's life even more than just enabling them to walk.

My Design

1. The Handle
The handle would not be made from the same material as the stick itself as this can result in the handle being slippy and uncomfortable and they are definitely not one size fits all as assumed by manufacturers.  the handle would be foam which can be moulded to the user's hand, thus enhancing comfort and reducing the potential for sweatiness. 

There would also be both a panic button/ tracking device on the side of the handle which would improve the safety of the user, as they could be tracked or call for help if they had an accident/were hurt/ were attacked.

On a more fun note there would also be a wifi hotspot so the user could surf the web/check emails etc and a usb charger and portable charger so they can charge items  on the go.  There would also need to be a charging port so the handle can be charged when necessary.  The charger would also power the lights (see 2, 3 &5).

2. Light in Handle.  
This light would shine straight ahead as a warning to others that there is someone walking along using a stick and may not have the necessary mobility to leap out of the way of oncoming people (I added this feature after years of having to zig zag out of other people's way or risk getting knocked over).

3 Light in the Stick
The lights in the stcik itself ate positioned quite high up.  This is so they can be positioned at a 45 degree angle so the user can see bumps, kerbs etc that are coming up.

5.  Light in the Ferrule.
The light in the ferrule would shine across the ground, highlighting any immediate dangers, dog poo etc. 

The addition of so many lights would enable the user to go out in the dusk or dark, when immediate dangers such as kerbs, raised pavement flags cannot be seen but could cause huge problems for someone with limited or restricted mobility.  The lights would illuminate such dangers and hopefully make someone with restricted mobility who has to depend on such a  stick more confident to go out during the evening and not feel restricted to venturing out just in the day time.  
The lights would also warn others, be they in cars or walking along, that there is someone coming along who cannot walk very quickly or get out of their way and that they should take this in to account and move themselves.

4. Stick
there would be 3 sizes of stick aimed at children, women and men.  This consideration would take into account height, weight etc when determining how much adjustment the stick will allow, how much weight the stick will take. 

As all the additions would all be an added expense and cost more than a basic walking stick. Latex covers with different designs could be produced to pull on the stick to make them fun.

My design incorporates both safety features and items seen as a necessity (wifi)  bringing a medical aid that is needed by many in to the 21 Century.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Michelle Smart: Protecting His Defiant Innocent(Mills and Boon)

This is the first in Michelle Smart's new trilogy based upon the Pellegrino family.  This book is based upon the youngest sister, the defiant innocent (Francesca) who ants to establish a hospital in a poverty stricken, corrupt and war torn country in the Caribbean. memory of her brother who has just been killed in an accident.  Felipe Lorenzo is the protector, brought in to protect Francesca as she negotiates buying land etc.   Will Felipe keep her safe and break down his own internal barriers which prevent him admitting he loves her or are they destined to go there own separate ways?

I received my copy from NetGalley and Mills and Boon via #MillsandBoonInsiders. This does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.

Available from:
Amazon UK
Mills & Boon

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist & Review of London Loves Beauty

I purchased the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist , 240 ml (£44)  from the London Loves Beauty website.   There is also a travel size version available which is  90ml  (£27).  I purchased the famous BumBum cream ages ago from Sephora and loved it, but they do not ship the mist due to shipping restrictions.  London Loves Beauty was the only UK site that I could find that stocked the body mist.

The bottle is big and chunky with the name embossed on the lid - this thrilled one of my friends who is completely blind because for once she wouldn't need to make a braille sticker to identify it!.  The smell of the mist is the same as the body cream ,a gourmand combination of  pistachio and salted caramel.  The spray can be used on body, hair and clothes/ lingerie.  The spray is quite fine and doesn't drench me when I use it.  I sprayed some on my pillow when I was feeling down and it almost cheered me up! Some reviews say the smell doesn't last,  but on a hotish day (for the North West) at 80 degrees it lasted a good 5 hours and 7 hour when layered with the cream.  I find 2 sprays is enough so the bottle will last ages.

I had never heard of the London Loves Beauty website until I was looking for a shop that sold the body mist.  Shipping is free for purchases over £70 for UK deliveries or £3.95 flat rate if under that.   Other shipping rates are listed on the website.  My parcel came securely packaged and nicely wrapped in purple tissue paper.  There is a Facebook messenger  live chat available 10am -5pm 7 days a week.  Once I had purchased my item I was notified of my shipping order/dispatch.  I got my item within 3 days.  I would use London Loves Beauty again as they have brands that are normally difficult to get in the UK such as ColorPop and Drunk Elephant, their website is easy to navigate  and their customer service is great.

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed i this blog post are my own.

Available From: London Loves Beauty

Z for Accessorize: Adeline Semi Precious Hoop Earrings

These Z for Accessorize Adeline gold plated semi precious hoop earrings (£19)  are more delicate in the flesh than they look on the website.  They are very easy to put in, or to get some one else to put them in for you.  Despite having several stones in the hoop they are very light so will not pull your ear down.  The colours of the stones are a variety of pastel hues so these earrings would work just as well in A/W as in S/S.

Available from:
Accessorize Website

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Z for Accessorize Halle Semi Precious Lariat Necklace

I have not bought any Z for Accessorize jewellery since March, but this necklace really caught my eye. The Halle semi precious pendant (£19) is a gold plated lariat style necklace.  The semi precious green stone at the top of the necklace is quite substantial and eye catching.  There are several cubic zircon stones in a drop at the bottom.  It has a built in chain extender.  It is a piece of jewellery that can be worn in summer but also looks great with a winter polo neck jumper.  As I am short it looks a lot longer on m than the model on the Accessorize website.  

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in my blog are my own.  

Available from:

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Nicci French: Sunday Morning Coming Down

This is the seventh book in the Frieda Klein series and this time the evil is brought much closer!  The first decomposing body is found under Frieda's floorboards by Josef. The body is that of an ex=policeman she had   hired to protect her.  She eventually manages to persuade the Police that it is in fact Dean Reeves who is the killer (everyone the supposedly committed suicide 7 years ago), but this does not keep her friends and family safe... As her friends and colleagues become Reeve's victims, "FRIEDA KLEIN" can be found imprinted near the scene of the crime.  This creates a clear link between the crime, killer and Frieda.  He will not stop his killing spree until he his caught or she is killed.  After 6 months the Police investigations are wound down so Frieda starts her own investigation with the help of a private investigator and  DCI Karlsson (who she has worked with in the past).  Will they run out of time or catch the killer?

Frieda is a complex character, the characters are described in detail and seem real and the reader cannot help but get drawn into her and her family's lives as the story progresses.  

I received my copy from NetGalley and Penguin. Sent to me in return for a honest review.  This does not influence my opinions as all opinions are my own.

Available from:
Amazon UK

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Wet brush-pro are EPIC and are a Mini Spa For Your Hair!

I purchased both the EPIC PROFESSIONAL Wet brush-pro Deluxe Shine (£17.32) and Deluxe Detangler  (£16.72) from Amazon UK.  

The brush-pro range is their elite line of hair brushes, designed for professionals.  EPIC is their acronym for the brush-pro key attributes: Elite; Professionals; Inspired and Creative.  

The Deluxe Shine is the larger of the two brushes. It is a paddle brush which has a very soft bed for the bristles so they do not tug or snag your hair.  The shine comes from the bristles combining  a blend of 100% boar bristles with the Wet brush's patented IntelliFlex bristles, which detangle whilst the boar bristles add shine, luster and remove impurities from the scalp.  This combination of bristles boosts the scalp's circulation and spreads the hair's natural oils from roots to tip, leaving your hair shiny, manageable and healthier.   This brush is also supposed to work well with dry shampoos, enhancing the shampoo by cleansing and purify your hair with every brush stroke.  

The Deluxe Detangler is the smaller of the two brushes.  the bed of the brush is not as soft and bouncy as the shine brush, it feels firmer as I brush it through my hair.  Ergonomically designed, the brush has a longer and stronger handle which is great for me as I have difficulty reaching the top of my head.  The brush head has been redesigned, with a larger bristle and cushion area which allows the brush to glide through more hair with one swipe and "maximise detangling efficiency and enables faster styling with less breakage.  The bristles are IntelliFlex bristles which allows tangles and knots to be brushed out easily with little or no pulling, tugging, ripping out of hair or pain. I had a huge knot at the back of my hair (where my arm cannot reach) and even my normal Wet brush was struggling to de-knot it.  My mum, using the Deluxe Detangler managed to get the knot out in a few swipes without having to pull out any hair, so it definitely works!

The EPIC range of Wet brush-pro are like mini spas for the hair and scalp.  Both the brushes glide through my hair, and with a few swipes my hair was brushed and my scalp felt massaged.  My scalp feels as though I have had my hair brushed at a salon as my scalp actually feels as though the bristles have got through to the scalp (my hair is very thick) and massaged it.

Available from:

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Gardman Kids Wild Bird Feeding Station

As I have several chronic and degenerative diseases I spend a lot of time in bed. I wanted something I could watch from my window when I was lying in bed bored which would distract me from the pain.  I bought the Gardman's kids wild bird feeder, as it was cheap, bright and eye catching from Amazon.  It was easy to slot together, just three metal poles which screwed together and the top with the hooks for the feeders which slotted into place. The instruction were clear.  You can put the feeder in soil as it has a pointy end but I bought the patio stand so I can move the feeder around and after trying both it seems more stationary and secure.  It also came with a little bird bath, feeding tray for seed and feeding station to hold fat balls.  The bath slides on to the metal pole and can be positioned wherever you want as can the feeding tray.  The feeder just flips open and you put the fat balls in.  I also bought the wild bird seed feeder, as the fat balls were not going down very well with my visiting birds.  The top just unscrews and you pour the nuts/seeds in, then refasten the lid.

So far the only birds who use it are three wood pigeons.  It is fun to watch them flying back and forth snacking, and complaining when they do not like what is on offer! I am pleased I bought it and enjoy watching them and their antics when I am lying in bed feeling sorry for myself.

I purchased these items myself and the items expressed in my blog are my own.

Amazon UK:

Gardmans Kids Wild Bird Seed Feeder (£4.99 add on with Prime).
Gardmans Feeding Station Patio Stand (£20.38 with Prime).

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Classic Canes: Angel Fish Fashion Derby Cane

I purchased the fashion derby extendable walking stick in Angel Fish from the Stick & Cane shop for £35.95.  Made by Classic Canes the detail on this stick is amazing and would be a great stick for a child/teenager or Disney addict as the clown fish could double as Nemo! I have put pictures of of the fish on my IG account. It is a bright, summery stick, which is easy to cut down (it is adjustable from 76 cm to 100) but I have to get them cut down as I am only 4 ft 8".  It has a derby handle, so can get a bit slippy to hold in hot weather, but it is definitely a fun, statement walking stick 

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in my blog are my own.

Avalible from here

Friday, 7 July 2017

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Golden Shimmer Multi Use Oil

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Golden Shimmer Multi Usage Dry Oil is a multi use oil that nourishes, repairs and softens the skin. moisturises hair whilst adding a subtle glimmer and glow to wherever it is applied.  50ml is £20 from Look Fantastic, which is where I purchased my bottle from.  It is a very light weight, non greasy oil which has a lovely smell of orange blossom, rose and vanilla.  It looks and smells great on the hair, I have a few greys which I can hide when I apply the oil due to the gleam and slight sparkle it leaves behind.  The oil does leave a satin like gleam (which is easy to wash off) so if like me, you dont like faux tan as it looks too fake on you this adds just a slight tint of colour and shine which hides stretch marks, bruises etc.  

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own.  

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Ruby: July Birthstone

Rubies represent love, passion, energy, success and courage. Ruby came from the latin rebeus meaning "red". For centuries rubies were supposed to bring good fortune for the wearer.  Rubies are very expensive and the price relates to its hue, ranging from purplish to vibrant orange red the most expensive ruby is the Burmese Ruby which are a dark red with a bluish undertone (pigeon blood red, referring to the colour of a white pigeon's eye rather than actual blood).  This ruby can only be found in the Mogok Valley Mines in Mynamar.  Rubies can also be found in India, Thailand, Vietnam and USA.  Rubies are tough and durable, measuring 9 on the Mohs Scale. 

Michelle Richmond: The Marriage Pact

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond is not a chic lit but a psychological suspense novel examining how far two people will go to save/stay in their marriage.  Alice is a successful lawyer, Jake a partner in a psychology practice and are about to get married.  Alice invites a client, Liam, to their wedding, he gives them a box without a key.  

They agree to meet the holder of the key, Vivian, who makes the suggestion that they enter The Pact  - "a group of like-minded individuals’ intent on achieving a similar goal".  The Marriage Pact means that they have entered into cannot be broken and is a lifelong commitment". The Pact requires Alice and Jake to be invested in their marriage, give monthly gifts, plan trips once a quarter with no tag along friends/family etc. All the rules are laid out in The Manual.  There are consequences/penalties (misdemeanours or felonies depending upon the seriousness of the offence) if The Pact is not adhered to!  Penalties range from the seemingly innocuous - the  recreant member is put under further observation, made to wear a GPS bracelet, for example, to reeducation and finally   disappearance as nobody leaves The Pact alive.  

Jake and Alice agree to enter The Pact but it all goes pear shaped when monthly gifts and holidays are forgotten. interest in the marriage wanes. Jake meets someone, Jo-Anne, who he knew from University. She is also part of The Pact and warns him it is much more dangerous than it first appears.   Their Pact Friends find out and the penalties are severe!  No one can leave The Pact alive so Jake and Alice spend weeks trying to balance their lives but still receiving painful and intrusive consequences which culminate in the disappearance of Alice.  He flies to Ireland to beg the creator of the Pact to release them from this life long commitment.  

The story is told through Jake's eyes and the chapters are very short. I normally don't like novels written in the first person narrative and I only got into the book and started enjoying the plot by chapter 7 and there is a great plot twist at then end that I did not see coming. The shortness of the chapters makes the story seem choppy and a series of thoughts that don't flow together. The premise of the book is great, the execution of it is unusual and I think that, for me, is where it misses the mark and fell down slightly. 

I got this free from NetGallery as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

Available here: Amazon UK

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Mills & Boon: Italian Bachelors

Mills and Boon 3 in 1 books are a great, money saving way of purchasing their books.  The books are normally around £4.99 but can sometimes be found on Amazon UK or their own website for 99p ish. They are sometimes to be found in book bundles as well, which are great to download for holidays.

Italian Bachelors contains three books by Lynne Graham, Cathy Williams and Leanne Banks.  All of have been published as stand alone books so it is worth checking that you haven't read it before, before you purchase.  

Ravelli's Defiant Bride by Lynne Graham focuses upon Cristo Ravelli clearing up his deceased father's mistakes which included several children.  Belle Brophy is the children's half sister. He marries her to avoid dragging the Ravelli name through scandal.  This book focuses on him coming to terms with the fact that not all women are terrible and her falling in love with him.

Enthralled by Moretti by Cathy Williams is about Alessandro Moretti reuniting with elusive lawyer Chase Evans. He blackmails her in to sleeping with him and then makes the cardinal error of wanting more. She, however, is still elusive, hiding behind lots of secrets.

The Playboy's Proposal by Leanne Banks - Michael Medici sees Bella working as a cocktail waitress.  After one amazing night together  she realises that he has just acquired her family's business, he says that he will return it to them if she becomes his no strings attached mistress.

These three books are all great reads and are a great introduction to the Mills and Boon genre.

As I belong to the #millsandbooninsiders I got this book for free to review from NetGalley.  This does not effect my review.

Available from:
Amazon UK
Mills & Boon Website

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Dower & Hall Vermeil Multi Gem Hoops

These earrings by Dower & Hall  are 18ct gold vermeil on sterling silver, with multi gem -  2-4 mm amethyst, garnet and topaz studded - hoops.  I bought them in their Christmas sale, so they are no longer available, but I though I would do a post on them anyway as they are versatile and show the workmanship and quality of the Dower & Hall range.  They came in a leatherette jewellery box with their logo embossed on it which  will make a great travel jewellery case.  They look great coupled with pastel summery colours or darker more winter hues.  There is a tiny gem at the back of the hoop which balances the gems at the front.  All Dower & Hall jewellery is well made. timeless and has that added something and I always enjoy wearing my earrings and ring from their collections.

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in this blog post are my own.