Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Cork Wedges Jewellery Store!

I'm so excited to announce that I've finally taken the leap & launched The Cork Wedges on-line jewellery store offering a stunning selection of hand selected ladies jewellery.

Spring is here & its time to ditch the scarves & break out the bling!

Here's just a small sample of some of the necklaces that I currently have available.

This Gold Feather Necklace looks great with a denim shirt & every time I wear mine I get complimented on it!


Gold Feather Style Necklace - The Cork Wedges Jewellery Store
Denim Shirt - Dorothy Perkins

Gold Leaf Statement Necklace 

This Silver Lace Necklace is a stunning piece that would see you from day through to night & is also available in gold.


Silver Lace Necklace - The Cork Wedges Jewellery Store
Navy Blouse - Primark

Silver Filigree Pendant

Gold Butterfly Necklace

aiming to provide good quality pieces at affordable prices & as a promotional opening offer all pieces currently listed are at a special discounted price.

There will be some exciting stock arriving for the Summer soon so keep a look out for new listings!

Postage & Packing to the UK is £1.50 & I'm able to send world wide so please email me for international postage costs.

Click here to go direct to the shop or use the 'Shop' tab on the menu bar above.

I hope you love the pieces as much as I do! 


xAx












Monday, 21 April 2014

Happy Easter!


Eggs-Cellent Cupcakes

Sponge Cake Mixture

175g Butter
175g Sugar
3 eggs beaten
175g Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Beat the butter & sugar until pale & fluffy. Add the vanilla & the eggs a little at a time beating well after each addition. Fold in half the flour & mix well before folding in the rest. Place into 12 cupcake paper cases & bake at 190°c for about 20 minutes until they are well risen & firm to touch. Leave to cool.

Butter Icing

140g Butter, softened
280g Icing Sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, add half the icing sugar & beat until soft. Add the remaining sugar & one tablespoon of the milk and beat until creamy & soft. Beat in the rest of the milk if necessary to loosen the mixture.

Topping

12 teaspoons of lemon curd

Once the cakes have cooled cover the cupcakes with the butter icing - my kids love doing this bit the best! Top with a spoon of lemon curd so that they look like fried eggs! 

Warning: These cakes are egg-stremely addictive! 






xAx

Friday, 18 April 2014

Window Shopping In Wallis & River Island Denim Love!

Whilst out & about the other day having my little spree I popped into a shop I don't go into very often, Wallis. In fact its a Wallis concessions in BHS & its right bang next to the Dorothy Perkins concession which is where I'm normally drawn to so by the time I walk through the Wallis section my head is already full of things I want & I never really see anything that jumps out at me!

This time I however I spotted this really gorgeous dress & was immediately drawn to it. I thought it would look great with my tan & gold flat sandals this Spring/Summer. Its much more vibrant in the flesh but not in a trashy way! The print is lovely & its very soft not at all clingy! I put it up against myself & really loved the print & the fit & it was perfect knee length.


Wallis Orange Border Tunic

Then I looked on-line & its not a dress at all! Its a tunic! I guess that being 5'2" does have some bonuses & I can wear tunics as dresses! Its currently reduced on-line from £34 to £27.20 & its also available in blue. It would look gorgeous with tan accessories & some gold bangles & a couple of thin gold pendants.

I also spotted this lovely yellow jumper & I loved the colour, texture & the zip detail on the shoulders. Its not too vibrant a yellow but not too pale & lemony either.


Wallis Yellow Zip Shoulder Jumper

Its also currently reduced to £26.40 from £33 & would be so useful this Spring & Autumn. On the website they've styled it with jeans & beige ankle boots & it shows how versatile it will be.

Then I popped into River Island where I really did fall in lust with a pair of jeans! I've been wanting some new boyfriend ones for a while & I came across these Matilda ones that could just be the ones!


River Island Mid Wash Matilda Skinny Jeans £40

They are labelled as skinny jeans but that didn't stop me from grabbing a pair & running for the fitting rooms! I grabbed a shirt on the way & have to say if I'd had the pennies in my purse I would of purchased them both in a flash!







I love the sheer floral panels on the sleeves of the shirt & the relaxed fit. As you can see its reduced to £17 but I'm gutted as I can't find it on-line. The Matilda jeans & the shirt were made for each other & made a lovely simple but stylish outfit with my leopard print skaters! 

This is what I wore on my morning out! I started the day with my navy shirt tucked in but with all the undressing & trying on it was soon left loose! I wore my Peacocks quilted jacket over the top & it was perfect for bombing around town in! Luckily, Grandad had the kids for a few hours & so I got some time to myself which was a much needed blessing!



Navy Sheer Shirt - Primark AW12
Jeans - George SS13
Skaters - £25 M&S SS14
Leopard Print Belt - £10 M&S Sale SS14

Leather Rucksack - Zara AW14
Quilted Jacket (just seen in corner of pic) - £22 Peacocks SS14


Thursday, 17 April 2014

A Day At The Races With Kaleidoscope!

Once upon a time, before marriage & babies I had a dream job. I was a Corporate Hospitality Coordinator for a Sports TV Production company & it was my job to manage our various private boxes at most of the major sporting events around the world. I would arrange travel & accommodation & fly clients around the world to attend these amazing events. 

One of the events I would organise was our annual trip to Epsom Downs Racecourse for hundreds of staff & clients to attend The Derby.


Image Courtesy Of The Guardian.co.uk
We would have a Double Decker bus parked in the Lonsdale enclosure opposite the finishing post & The Queens Stand. A catering company would serve us all canapes & a delicious lunch with Champagne & Pimms on tap! My boss at the time said to me 'Andrea, all you need for a good time is good company, good food & plenty of grog' and he was right! 


Image Courtesy Of The Guardian.co.uk

The Derby dates back to 1780 & it still classed as the greatest flat race in the world with prize money of over £1.25m! Sadly, my knowledge of racing was never very good & I would always end up out of pocket but the free champagne would help to soften the blow!

So, when Kaleidoscope contacted me & asked if I'd like to get an outfit together from their current collection suitable for a day at the races, I didn't hesitate for a minute to say yes!

The race I chose is obviously The Derby & here is what I would wear if I was lucky enough to attend again.
A Day At The Races!
The dress code in The Lonsdale Enclosure is much more relaxed compared to the ones in the main stands & so there was never any need for a fancy hat.  I would always put smart casual on the invitations & make sure everyone knew that denim was a huge no-no. 

So, considering the above I opted for this gorgeous monochrome dress with these stunning contrasting yellow accessories. 

The Derby is held on the first Saturday in June & so a cover up was never necessary. We were always blessed with glorious sunshine & I hope the same can be said for this year or I will be eating the hat that I don't have!

Heine Printed Dress
£45 - kaleidoscope.co.uk

I choose this gorgeous monochrome dress because of its feminine cut & bold print. Its a very versatile dress which can be paired with many different coloured accessories & worn in a casual manner too. Being a Mama on a budget I always like to purchase things that can be worn time & time again & this dress fits that need perfectly.


Heine Block Heeled Sandals
£85- kaleidoscope.co.uk

The same goes for these stunning sandals with the contrasting yellow block heel. They go perfectly with the dress but would also look just as great with some boyfriend jeans on a Summer evening out. I mentioned on the Kaleidoscope blog recently that wedges were the perfect shoe to wear to the races as they stop you from sinking into the turf but these sturdy block heels are the next best thing.


Heine Trug Style Bag
£59 - kaleidoscope.co.uk

This statement yellow bag is just gorgeous & it compliments the dress & shoes just perfectly. You may think its a tad on the large side but don't forget theres a Double Decker bus on hand to store it on. If you anything like me the bigger the better & it will be full to the brim with suncream, sunglasses & binoculars as well as the usual kitchen sink!


Colour Pop Jewellery Set
£19 - kaleidoscope.co.uk

I love the colours of this jewellery set & it really lifts the monochrome pattern of the dress & once again would be so useful & well worn all Summer.


It had to be yellow nails! Hazy Summer sunshine in a bottle!

Silver Coloured Ornamental Rocking Horse
£7 - kaleidoscope.co.uk
Finally, how cute is this little rocking horse?! It would be a great reminder of a fun day out with friends.

After the racing had finished & an amazing day spent with wonderful clients & colleagues those of us that were left standing (or there abouts) would pile onto the open top Double Decker & be driven back to the our offices in Wimbledon. The journey back was one of the highlights of the day & we would laugh & joke all the way! We would end up at a trendy bar where we would continue on well into the night.

This post has brought back so many wonderful memories & I've thoroughly enjoyed putting it together.

Do you have any tales to tell of good times spent at the Races?

What would you wear?


xAx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Back To Work Try Before You Buy Shopping Spree!

I have the will power of an ant! I went for a wee try before you buy session with the mind to make one purchase from my back to work wish list & ended up purchasing 3 of the tops I had listed. I am now however more than satisfied with what I have leading up to the Summer months. 

My first stop was New Look & I have to say I found some gorgeous items in there that I would of snapped up in an instant had the bank balance allowed!

I went straight for the jumper section & found the mint green one I had my eye on & a cream one in similar style. 

The mint green got the thumbs up! This is a size 8 which I am most definitely not but the fit & shape sat well.

Mint Green Contrast Sleeve Diamond Stitch Raglan Jumper £10

The cream got the thumbs down! It was a size 10 & just didn't suit me at all. Its a bit thicker than the green one & it reminded me something a fisherman would wear! 


I then went straight for the boxy textured tops that I had spotted a few weeks back & opted to try the pink & blue ones on. Both are size 12.

Pink Key Hole Back Textured Boxy Top £12.99

I was surprised to like the pink much more than the blue! The blue one was faulty as the elastic loop at the back that hooks over the button had come loose from the stitching & so I couldn't do it up & it was the only size 12 they had. I asked the girl in the changing room which colour she preferred on me & even she said the pink which surprised me as baby blue is a colour I'm supposed to be able to wear. Maybe its just this shade of blue that didn't work on me.

Light Blue Keyhole Back Textured Boxy Top £12.99

I am totally in love with this black crochet jacket & the pictures don't do it any justice at all! It was fully lined & just felt like the perfect black jacket for Spring. At £27.99 its not too pricey either & also comes in cream which I would also like to try.

Black 3/4 Sleeve Crochet Blazer £27.99
The jeans you can see hanging up were hideous! I've packed on a pound or 2 since stopping work & there is no way in hell I'm showing you all pictures of me squeezed into super skinny jeans! :/ 

I'm also totally in love with these black slim leg joggers. They fitted like a glove & were so comfy. These are definitely on my wish list & would be a perfect light trouser purchase for the warmer Spring days. Again the photo doesn't really do them justice but I shall be dreaming of these for weeks!

Inspire Black Twill Slim Leg Joggers £17.99
I moved onto H&M to investigate the striped tops. I couldn't find the vests & dipped hem top I blogged about here but came across this gorgeous Breton with brass coloured buttons on the shoulders & wrists for £12.99. I can't find it on-line but this is a medium & although the sleeves are a little long I really liked it & felt comfortable in it & it was exactly what I had been looking for.

H&M Striped Top With Brass Button Trim £12.99

So did you guess what made the cut & came home with me?!


The pink top, mint green jumper, the striped top & a set of bracelets from New Look!

Have you fulfilled your Spring wish list yet?!

Ax


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Back To Work & Topless!

Calm down! Calm down! I'm not starting a career as a glamour model! Well not at this age that's for sure! I've missed the boat by 20 years but lets not even go there! 

Clearly that title is referring to the lack of tops in my wardrobe suitable for the workplace. Not entirely true but not a total lie either! I have a few lovely sheer blouses to wear & a few smart short/mid sleeve tops but as its coming up to Spring/Summer I will definitely be needing some smart-ish tops to wear when the weather warms up.

Being a Mum & needing clothes for work I need to get some that can kind of double up as work & play clothes as seeing as the budget is tight I don't want to waste money on things that will only get worn a few hours a day in the office & as I said I do already have some smart pieces that are getting hardly any wear on the school run.

Shell tops are big this season, as are florals & of course you can't go wrong with stripes at any time of the year.

My Next navy biker trousers that I bagged in the sale recently finally arrived in store & were collected yesterday. I thought I'd start by looking for a nice Breton to go with them. Finding a navy & white one within my budget has proved quite a task & I've been all over the net looking the last few days.

Boden have this sweatshirt on sale at the moment for £27.30. Its perfect for the cooler Spring days but probably a little too thick for an office environment. Having said that it would go with so much & would definitely double up as weekend wear too. I'm thinking it will be perfect with my navy bikers & some pointed flats.


Boden Stripy Sweatshirt £27.30

Next up this one from H&M. It might just be me & my forty year old eyes but I can't quite make out the colour of the stripes! I've found this with a few retailers, they just label the tops 'striped' but don't actually say what colour the stripes are?! A bargain at £9.99 & would look great for work with a bright statement necklace as well as kicking around at the weekend with a pair of boyfriend jeans.


H&M Striped Jersey Top £9.99

Now before you think I've gone completely mad in listing these vest tops I do think they would be great or the striped in particular to wear under jackets. For £7.99 for the 2 you could easily dress them up under a smart jacket & then slouch in them on weekends. Double whammy & one happy thrifty Mama! I did say previously that I'm not looking to enter a corporate environment again & so could easily get away with this type of top as long as I keep my pasty white bingo wings under wraps!



H&M 2 Pack Vest Tops £7.99

I've seen this Dorothy Perkins daisy print shell top in store & it really is very pretty & hits 2 trends in one! I just love the cheerful print!


Dorothy Perkins Daisy Print Shell Top £20
I was keeping my colours in mind when choosing this aubergine coloured shell top from Next. Another great versatile top as I also had my white skinny jeans in mind too with tan accessories for a smart casual look.


Next Embroidered Organza Shell Top £16
This is one of the tops I spotted in New Look recently. The texture was lovely & the boxy shape would be very flattering & hide a multitude of sins. Its also available in black, cream & baby pink & I'd certainly find a home for them all in my wardrobe.


Key Hole Back Textured Boxy Top £12.99

A few lightweight jumpers wouldn't go a miss either! I saw a girl wearing a pastel green one whilst out with the kids the other day & she looked lovely & very spring like! She was wearing it with a long white vest underneath, jeans & white converse. It would work just as well with a white shirt underneath or on its own with a tube skirt & statement necklace.

I've just found this gem on New Look reduced to just £10 & I'm seriously tempted! It comes in a whole host of spring pastel colours & the light blue may actually suit me better but I am loving the pastel green.


New Look Contrast Sleeve Diamond Stitch Raglan Jumper £10
Still with my new navy bikers in mind I came across this jumper in Next whilst collecting them. It looked fab in store & would also be so useful & double up as weekend wear with boyf jeans once again. 


Next White Textured Knit Sweater £28

That's just a teeny selection of tops that I'd like & would work well with the rest of my wardrobe & double up for work & play.

Blogging for the last year has done wonders for my wardrobe & bank balance to be honest as these days I really think about what I'm buying. My wardrobe used to be full of impulse purchases & I never gave much thought about the cost or wearability of it all. These days with a tighter budget & smaller storage space its all about being practical & thinking the purchases through & I'm a much better off for it!

I know you all have a Spring wish list as long as your arms too? So, come on, whats on yours?!

Ax


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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Universal Sisterhood!




After our disastrous start to the year things slowly seem to be turning in our favour. As with most of the difficult times in my life I've always thought of the people worse off than me but I have been pretty stressed in recent months with all the troubles & strains that life just seemed to get in the way with life! Even my Hubby made a comment recently at how disorganised I'd become! I stood there in shock as back in the day super organised & efficient were two words that described me to a tee & it even still says that on my CV! The sad thing was that he was right! When I was working life seemed to work much better as there had to be a routine & life ran pretty smooth but in the last 2 months of being unemployed has seen all sorts of disasters! Panics in the mornings realising that the kids schools shirts hadn't been ironed, there wasn't anything suitable in the fridge to make my sons packed lunch with, sniffing the kids at night to see if they could do without a bath that day & then sniffing them the next night wondering the same.......all serious major Mum fails! 

Now, we all know that being a women in modern day is truly difficult as we have so many balls to juggle & plates to spin. Hats off to the full time working Mamas out there who really are real life Superwomen! Whether we're unhappy with our weight, looks, relationships its all so much harder without a good support network & especially so when other women are dragging you down too! I loathe women who hate on other women & truly believe that we are a universal sisterhood that should support & build one another up not tear each other down!

So, whilst I'm feeling at a total loss & clinging onto life by the fingernails, 3 amazing posts by 3 amazing bloggers came my way that inspired me no end to kick myself up the butt & get myself back on track.

I had to share them with you all & Marlene, Alison & Agi have very kindly given me permission to do just that.

After all of my Mum fails I knew I needed to kick butt with my daily routine & some serious structure was needed. As if by magic Alison from Get Your Pretty On posted this post detailing an average day of hers & I knew instantly that I could do better than I was! Since reading this I now give myself a 'power half hour' in the mornings which gives me time to do a multitude of things before the youngling's wake up & it has made such a difference to my days. I'm building up to the full hour Alison, honest! ;)


Alison @ Get Your Pretty On - A Typical Day

Next up, Marlene from Chocolate, Cookies & Candies did this amazing post called Women & Our Self Image based on a meet up by a few blogging friends recently. I was very kindly invited to go but unfortunately with a very expensive car repair due there was no way it was viable for me to head up to London to meet all these amazing ladies. Just as well as they managed to sink 8 magnums of Prosecco in that one afternoon! Needless to say I plan to make the next meet up & look forward to meeting all of these inspirational women.


Marlene @ Chocolate, Cookies & Candies - Women And Our Self Image

Agi from Vodka Infused Lemonade posted a no make up selfie before the no make up selfies in support of Cancer Research went completely viral & I just thought 'wow'! She looked so beautiful, clean, fresh & pure! Such a brave thing to do & she was, like Marlene, sending out a message to other women about self image & the negativity we pass on regarding it without actually realising.


Agi @ Vodka Infused Lemonade - I Am Beautiful

To read their posts please click on the link under their photographs & I hope you find them as inspiring as I have.

I would like to say a big thank you to all 3 of these amazing women for writing & posting these amazing stories & for giving me permission to share them with you all.

Do you know of any other inspiring reads, blogs or books that you know of that spring to mind after reading these?! Please share if you do!

Ax