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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, 20 August 2017

Z for Accessorize: Ariel Semi Precious Bracelet

This Ariel bracelet is part of the Z for Accessorize range which is available from Accessorize either in-store or online.  It is £15 and comprises of 3 green semi precious stones set on a pretty gold plated double chain.  It has a built in extender, fastens with a lobster clasp and has the distinctive Z disc next to the clasp.  It is delicate and chic and will look great both with summer and autumnal colour schemes.  

Available from:  Accessorize

Rhino Force Charity Bracelet

Made by The Bead Coalition, the rhino force bracelet is a charity bracelet which enables 50% of the profit to be donated to rhino conservation and raising awareness about the plight of the rhinos. All the information about  donations/ financial statements can be found on The Bead Coalition's website. The bracelet itself is made from white, red and black beads. These are separated by coconut bead.  The black and white beads represent the rhinos and the red beads symbolises their plight.  The coconut bead represents the colour and toughness of the rhino's hide.  The is also a silver tone charm which has Africa on one side and a rhino head silhouette on the other. I purchased this item myself via Ebay UK and it cost £8.56 and £4.67 postage from Africa.  The bracelet is a great way to support a worthwhile cause.  It is eye catching and a great talking point.

I purchased the item myself
Available from Ebay
Bead Coalition Website

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Babyliss Smooth Dry Hot Air Styler

I purchased the Babyliss Smooth Dry Hot Air Styler when it was QVC's TSV for £24.99.  This brush dries and styles at the same time.  It is comparable to the Revlon Perfectionist 2 in 1 Dryer which I have already reviewed.  It is slightly smaller than the Revlon one and I find  the switch is easier to use with hands that are sometimes stiff.  

The Babyliss has two heat settings and a cool setting, comes with 2 detangling combs and has a removable filter.  The Smooth \Dry Hot Air Styler paddle brush has a mixture of silicon bristles and straightening fins which help straighten hair whilst ionic conditioners boost shine and reduce the dreaded frizz.  The paddle brush allows you to add volume to your hair whilst drying and also smooth fizz and tame fly away strands leaving hair looking straight and glossy.

Available from:

Sunday, 13 August 2017

#win £50 Amazon Beauty Box & £30 Voucher of Your Choice

Win this box of makeup/ skin care items and a £30 voucher of your choice. Open internationally.  Opens 15 Aug 2017 closes 30 Aug 30 2017.  Just fill out the rafflecopter requirements. Good luck

. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Book Review: Amanda Prowse, The Art of Hiding

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse is published by Lake Union Publishing and is published on the 22 August 2017.  Nina is the main character of the book and the book charts the course of husband dying, finding his company is bankrupt and so she has to start over with a tween and teenager in tow.  This riches to rags story shows that rich is not always best.  Her two boys, Declan and Connor are 2 self absorbed individuals when they have all the material goods they want and attend a private school - Kings Norton College but grow and improve as individuals when all they have known is ripped from them by the bailiffs and they have to move to a small flat and attend a poor comprehensive.  
Nina's support, when her world comes crashing down, is not from the Kings Norton College mums as they drop her but from her sister who works in a pub and the mums whose boys are on the local rugby team.  She has to rediscover and redefine her life and seems excited that she is going to go back to college and retrain to be a nurse.
This book is all about the characters being redefined, adapting and growing as people as circumstances change.  This book is relate-able as it shows that some relationships become weaker,  none existent, or stronger in the face of such adversarial conditions.  

I was sent this book from Netgalley in return for my honest opinion.  The fact I got it for free does not affect my review. 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Classic Canes/ National Gallery Whistlejacket Derby Walking Cane

Classic Canes have produced several walking sticks under licence from the National Gallery.  They are Whistlejacket by George Stubbs, Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh and a Still Life of Flowers in a Wan-Li Vase by Bosschaert. They are available as a folding derby stick, derby cane, petite folding derby stick and petite derby cane.  The folding derby stick has 4 pieces and is adjustable between 82cm to 92 cm, the petite version is adjustable from 77cm to 85cm. The cane is adjustable from 77cm to 100cm and the petite 67cm to 90 cm so suitable for a wide range of heights. The canes are £42 and folding walking sticks £46.

I purchased the Whistlejacket derby cane via the National Gallery.  It came carefully package in a tube - i imagine that it is quite difficult to pack up a walking cane to send through the post!  The cane looks like a piece of art.  The horses are strategically placed around the cane and almost look real. The stick is light and comfortable to use, although I would like it if it came with a wrist strap.

Available from:
Whistlejacket Derby Walking Stick
Whistlejacket Petite Folding Walking Stick

Primark Beauty and the Beast Chip Cross Body Bag & Purse

The Chip purse and cross body bag were available for about a second in Primark.  It is an official Disney product. I got mine via Ebay and the pair were £18 including postae. There are still some available on Ebay and the price seems to be slowly gong down.

The cross body bag is cute. It has Chip on one side and is a contrasting pink on the other.  It has a pinky/gold glittery bottom and a iridescent gold nose/handle. The zip goes along the back of the bag rather than the top so it can be difficult to fit things in it.  The strap is quite short as it is meant to be a child's bag and it is not adjustable in length.  The bag measures 12x19cm and the strap 39cm.

The chip  purse, like the bag has Chip on one side and is a contrasting pink on the other.  He has a glittery pink base, a gold iridescent handle and a gold zip at the top. He is fully lined.   He measures 9x11cm

Oasis & ZSL Collaboration

For the first time in its 191 year history, London Zoological Society have collaborated with Oasis  to creating a capsule clothing collection "The Wildest Dream".  ZSL hopes the collaboration will raise awareness for the need for world wide scientific research ad conservation work  with endangered species.  The prints are based upon animals based at London and Whipsnade Zoos and feature tigers, snakes, butterflies, zebra etc,  The clothing includes skater dresses, skirts, dresses, scarves,  t shirts, clutch bags, trainers and sweaters.

The ZSL tiger trainers (£26) feature tigers and butterflies and are are cute, comfortable and look equally smart when paired with either a maxi dress or with jeans.  They run true to size and feel light to wear, they are not clumpy trainers.They tie with a ribbon which I am going to put a stitch through as I cannot bend down or tie bows. 

The Indiana Print Tee   (£22) is a soft tunic style t shirt, machine washable, is made from 100% viscose, with small slits up the side.   It has tigers, butterflies, sloths, parrots  and snakes against a dark, foliage background.  The print is on both the back and front of the top with a black mesh section on the shoulders.  

The Indiana Skater Dress (45), also available in long, features the same unusual print as the Indiana Print Tee.  It is made of viscose (is machine washable)  so  hangs nicely and can stretch whilst look slimming.  The zip draws you in at the waist.  It has cross back detailing with a fastening at the top and a zip around the waist.  As I cannot get my arms that far around my back I do find it difficult to fasten by myself.  .  

The ZSL Tie Front Tee  (£34) features an ant, parrot, cheetah and has a tie waist on the front.  This is hand wash only, which is disappointing, and looks great with khaki trousers or cargo pants.  There is a cut out ladder design on the back.  

Please note I am wearing a size 8, but as I am 4ft 9" not 5ft 10" the tops look different on me compared to the model on the Oasis website!

The collection is available in Oasis online and in-store and key pieces are also available online and in store at the Whipsnade and London Zoo.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Falke Sensitive Berlin Women's Socks

Socks, might seem a slightly boring blog post topic, but if like me, your legs swell up, you become obsessed with finding a comfortable pair of socks.  This is were Falke Sensitive Women's Socks come in.  Yes they are expensive - ranging from £7-15 depending upon where you purchase them, but they are comfortable and due to the sensitive, non elastic top, do not constrict your leg if it swells during the day.  
They have anatomic left and right fitting, pressure free, non constricting comfort tops  and handlinked toes so the seem is flat and doesn't rub your them.  They are cotton on the inside and merino wool on the outside of the sock.   The come in two sizes, 2.5-5 and 5.5- 8 and there is a variety of colours. I get mine either insore at House of Fraser Manchester or Amazon UK. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Poweradd Pilot X7 External Power Battery Bank

Spending a lot of time in waiting rooms and hospital wards I depend upon my phone/kindle/internet access to amuse and distract me but they always run out at the most inopportune moment!   I purchased the Poweradd Pilot X7 20,000 mAh as it (£18.99 including delivery with Prime) has good reviews.   This external power battery bank is suitable for most brands of tablets and phones including Samsung and Apple.  It charges my Apple Ipod ITouch 7 times before it needs recharging itself.  It has dual USB output ports so can charge two devices at the same time.  

I have 3 external power batteries, I can then rotate them when needed. If I am in hospital I will have on in use and someone will bring me a newly charged one so I can swap when it runs out.  They remove the inconvenience of batteries running out when I am just at a good bit in my book or in the middle of playing a game. I just plug my device in to the charger and I can continue.  

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

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Decleor 30 spf Hair and Body Oil

Although Summer appears to have been and gone in the North West of the UK, SPF is still important, especially if you are someone who burns easily as you don't go out very often and your skin is not used to any sun exposure at all. Just because the sun isn't visible doesn't mean you cannot get skin damage. Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Summer Oil with spf30 (£27) can be used on the body and hair.  Containing no mineral oil, it does contain both UVA and UVB filters, protecting skin from sun damage, premature skin ageing and skin cancer.  Suitable for all skin types, it is water resistant and needs to be reapplied every 2 hours or after swimming..  It also contains manoi oil which smells gorgeous and leaves the hair and body moisturised and nourished.
The need for hair SPF is often ignored.  Slather the body and face with high SPF leaving hair to be dried out by the sun, leaving it dry, brittle, stripping pigment from hair and washing colour out whilst burning your scalp!  Decleor hair and body oil solves the problem of carrying two bottles around as it can be used on both and it is in a spray so easy to use. 

I purchased this item myself, it is available from the Decleor Website and the internet web shops that are official stockists of the brand.   

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Botanics Relaxing Lavender Body, Space and Sleep Spray

As someone who has difficulty sleeping due to constant neuropathic pain and M.E. my saviour comes in a spray. Available from Boots for £5.49 (and often on 3 for 2), the Boots Botanics Relaxing Lavender Body, Space And Pillow Spray is a relaxing 3 in 1 Spray that can be used to spray the calming scent of lavender.  I find that this is a cheaper, purse friendly version of other, more expensive sleep sprays.  At £5.49 it can, and is, especially when hot, sprayed liberally on beds to freshen them up and around the room.  This isn't, by any means, a miracle cure for insomnia or sleeplessness due to constant pain, but I do find it helps to relax me and I am then more likely to drift of to sleep. 

I also spray my cat's bed with it as he is prone to panic attacks and the smell calms him down! He does love the smell of the spray, it doesn't smell artificial and as a lavender aficionado who spends all summer either waiting for the lavender in his garden to smell,   then the rest of the summer sat under it, smelling it, he knows his stuff!

Available from: Boots

Z for Accessorize Carina Stars Ring

The Z for Accessorize Carina Stars gold plated ring looks like a mini crystal ball surrounded by 2 cubic zircon stars.  The focal point of the ring is the moonstone which is eye catching and cut so you can see flashes of  iridescent blues and white,   I don't particularity like the stars and cubic zircon on either side of the ring, but I can look past that as otherwise the ring is a great statement piece.

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

Available from: