Monthly Archives: October 2009

Time to do our bit

Breast cancer awareness month is in full swing now, and there can’t be many of us who haven’t been affected by this disease in one way or another, whether that’s personally or through a friend or family member. And today there are a couple of news stories in the papers about things you can buy to help raise cash for the breast cancer charities.
So to get you in the mood for spending, here’s a quick selection of the offerings that promise to donate some of what you spend to a breast cancer charity, starting with the most luxurious (and, therefore, expensive) and ending with the little tokens almost all of us can afford:
GHD Limited Editing Pink hair straighteners set, £135 (feelunique.com)
Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne, £64 (jomalone.co.uk)
Bobbi Brown Glitter Lip Balm, £28 (bobbibrown.co.uk)
The White Company pale pink cashmere socks £25 (thewhitecompany.com)
Tweezerman Pink Ribbon slant tweezer, £20 (feelunique.com)
Warehouse big bow pink t-shirt, £20 (warehouse.co.uk)
Estee Lauder Pink Ribbon Collection lipsticks, £20 (esteelauder.co.uk)
Jessica ‘Pink Power’ nail colours, £16.75 (feelunique.com)
Clinique Long-Last Glosswear PInk Ribbon charm, £15 (from Boots etc)
Wear It Pink Red Herring t-shirt, £10 (debenhams.com)
Marks & Spencer Breast Cancer Awareness Month knickers, £6 (marksandspencer.com)
Marks & Spencer BCAM cupcakes, £2.99 for four (marksandspencer.com)
And finally…
Breast Cancer Campaign Jigsaw bracelet, £2 (wearitpink.co.uk). Bargain.

Live to tweet or tweet to live?

I’ve just come across the most bonkers diet. Well, not a diet as such, but an online food diary kind of thing. You sign up to a website called tweetwhatyoueat.com, and every time you eat or drink something, you log it via your twitter account, either via your computer or mobile – and it all ends up on the TWYE website. Even better, you can enter the calories of what you eat (if you know what they are), or else the website’s calorie database will fill in the calorie value for you.
And while your eat tweets don’t actually appear on your twitter page (come on, nobody’s that boring!), you can still snoop around lots of other people’s food diaries on the TWYE website. Stephen Fry has apparently lost six stone in six months, and he’s tweeting what he eats. And they say he’s not the only celeb who’s using the TWYE service (though I haven’t come across any obvious celeb food diaries just yet).
Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t say I’d want to share every morsel that passed my lips with the rest of the online community. But do check out the TWYE website because it makes for positively hilarious reading. When I took a look just now, a tweeter called Penny Buckwell had partaken of the following in the space of just nine minutes (or at least, that’s what it looked like):
Salad, ham, cheese, two pieces of toast with choc spread, a packet of crisps, two slices of pizza and a glug of Udo’s Oil (an omega fatty acid nutritional supplement – hah, now she’s showing off). Total calories 1149.
Way to go, Penny.
Makes my day’s scoffing so far seem positively saintly.

Favourite jewellery designers… #2

What can I say about Stephen Webster? The guy’s an inspiration, a prince among jewellery designers. So you guessed it, I adore his work. It’s his gothic-meets-rock-and-roll attitude that singles him out – think skulls, cobwebs, daggers, spikes and gemstones by the bucketload.
Celebs are constantly snapped wearing his jewels – Christina Aguilera, Johnny Depp, Madonna, J-Lo, Sharon Stone, Charlize Theron to name but a few (Christina is the face of his 2009 collection, lucky girl). And of course his designs are almost tailor-made for real-life rockers such as Axl Rose and Ozzy Osbourne (both of whom are fans, apparently).
Visit his website (currently still being redesigned) and drool over the gorgeous jewels that, if you’re anything like me, you couldn’t even get a mortgage for.
Meanwhile, Mr Webster had a lot of press this summer for designing a one-off ring that was in the shape of a mosquito – yes, you heard right – made from rhodium-plated white gold and glistening with white and black diamonds, with a ruby as the mosquito’s body. The ring was famously donated for auction to benefit the charity Malaria No More, an organisation set up to reduce the number of malaria deaths (see, he’s a nice guy too).
There were 300 limited-edition replica mosquito rings up for grabs on asos.com this month. Priced at just £50 each, there wasn’t a diamond or smidge of white gold in sight, but nevertheless a chance to grab a piece of the glorious Stephen Webster legend. Sadly, it looks like they’ve sold out already (yeah, I missed out too). Doh.

There was a young lady from Kidderminster…

Today is National Poetry Day, as organised by The Poetry Society. So expect lots of people spouting rhyming couplets (though perhaps not limericks…) and the like on TV and radio during the course of the next 12 hours or so.
I’ve never written a poem myself, it’s enough for me to string a coherent sentence together, let alone make it sensitive or funny or poignant or any of those things poetry encompasses. My best friend Julie writes some amazing poetry though – check out her poems online (she’s also a photographer, incase you were wondering when you visit her website). Julie’s poems really are sensitive, funny, poignant and all those things great poetry should be. Many of them have made me laugh out loud – and brought tears to my eyes.
But perhaps my favourite poem is one that I learned at school. It’s very short (a plus!) and is by the American poet Ezra Pound, and it goes like this…
And the days are not long enough
And the nights are not long enough
And time slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass
Kinda describes modern life (at least it does mine), despite having being written, oh I don’t know, at least 50 years ago? I really like the idea of the field mouse, this tiny little thing, scurrying through all this long grass and nobody even noticing it.
Maybe it’s time I had another go at coming over all poetic. Now what rhymes with ‘Kidderminster’…?

Love at first bite

Well Hallowe’en may be weeks away, but Channel 4 has a treat for all you vampire addicts out there. Tonight sees the first episode of the US smash hit series True Blood – about vampires, of course, but these are particularly sexy blood-suckers by all accounts. If you haven’t already caught the series on cable, I recommend you tune in tonight at 10pm.
To get you in the mood, here’s my top 10 list of my favourite hunk vampires (wouldn’t mind letting any of them have a bit of a nibble, would you?)…
1. Johnny Depp (Okay, he hasn’t played a vampire yet, but he’s rumoured to be doing just that in an upcoming adaptation of Dark Shadows. Bring it on!)
2. Stephen Moyer (True Blood – all brooding and smouldering)
3. Robert Pattinson (Twilight – oh If only I were 10 years younger)
4. Gary Oldman (Dracula – Coppola’s 1992 version – be still my beating heart)
5. Brad Pitt (Interview with the Vampire – though Tom Cruise was much scarier)
6. David Boreanaz (Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer – who doesn’t love Angel?)
7. Wesley Snipes (Blade/Blade II/Blade Triology – seriously fit, but technically only half vamp)
8. Gerard Butler (Dracula 2000 – rubbish movie, nice eye candy though)
9. Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys – the only blonde vampire you wouldn’t mind taking a bite)
10. Leslie Nielsen (Dracula: Dead and Loving It – well, you’ve got to have a laugh too, haven’t you?)

Puppy love

Well then, animal prints are set to be huge (again!) this winter. Tell me something I don’t know. I mean, when was the last time leopardskin or zebraskin wasn’t in every fashion shop in existence? Personally I don’t like it, makes you look like you’ve got a horrible rash or skin disease (at least, in the case of some leopardskin-print items I’ve seen – I mean, leopardskin-print leggings, it’s just not right).
But no, this year we’re not just going to be treated to the usual animal skin prints (and without getting my animal-rights head on here, I truly believe they look better on their original owners…). This year, we’re also going to be buying clothes with prints of whole animals on them. Leopards, tigers, bears, squirrels, whales or whatever. Take a look at this eagle-print jumper from Dotty P, yours for a mere £35.
Doesn’t matter how cheap it is, you won’t catch me in one. The whole thing smacks of snowmen and cartoon character jumpers, if you ask me. But it got me thinking. So here for your delectation is a little gem – not an animal on a jumper but an animal in a jumper. Pictured below is my own little rascal, Buddy Love, posing his heart out in a neighbour’s doggy-coat design.

Buddy Love in jumper

Let me tell you a bit about Buddy Love. He’s just over two years old, and a cross between a chihuahua and a teacup pomeranian (they call the cross breed a ‘pomchi’… no, seriously, Sandra Bullock has one!). He’s teeny, as you can probably tell. But from the day we brought him home (he was eight weeks old, and half the size of our cat then), he immediately took over and confirmed his status as boss of all of us.
On the day this photo was taken, he was quite obliging, because he really doesn’t like wearing doggy clothes (no, he’s not one of those simpering Paris Hilton-type pooches, he’s a real rough-and-tumble dog, despite his size).
So there you have it. One of many tales of Buddy Love that I’ll be boring you stiff with (especially when I can’t be bothered to find anything more interesting to blather on about…).

The return of the corset

When Madonna first wore that pointy-boobed corset during her 1993 Blond Ambition tour, little did she probably realise that she cemented the image in most of our minds (yes, girls too!) forever. The conical-bra corset was, of course, designed by France’s own national treasure, Jean-Paul Gaultier, whose name – thanks, largely, to Madonna – will go down in history linked to, er, pointy boobs.
And now the ‘rocket-cone bra’ corset is back. JPG himself has put them back on the catwalk during his Paris Fashion Week show, where he revealed his spring/summer 2010 collection. Here’s a snap of said corset, as featured in today’s Telegraph (it also features a reminder of what Madonna looked like in hers back in the day). Hmm, the last thing that model needs is a corset, mind you (sorry chuck, nothing personal you understand). For a more detailed look at what JPG’s show revealed, check out the Grazia Daily website.
The return of the corset just confirms that the fashion industry’s affair with the bondage/fetish look is still going strong (gladiator sandals – oh puurlease, all those leather straps and buckles, more like dominatrix than gladiator… and as for ‘bandage’ dresses, well I rest my case).
But will we be back in corsets – pointy boobed or not – by next spring? Ah, only time (and ongoing waist expansion) will tell.

A little bit of a legend

Ah, to have the dosh to buy designer labels… Well actually more of us can afford them these days, with a growing list of fashion heavyweights producing high-street-priced ranges for high-street stores (Jil Sander for Uniqlo and Christopher Kane for Top Shop being two of the most recent). And not bad they are too, if you feel the need to buy into all that designer label stuff.
Me, I’m still waiting for Vivienne Westwood to hook up with a shopping-centre big name. But then she is busy trying to save the environment at the moment (well, somebody’s got to do it). So until we get a VW range at New Look or H&M (or, knowing Vivienne, she’ll probably go for an outlet like George at Asda or Tesco… she’s still a punkette at heart after all), we’ll all have to satisfy ourselves with her rather fabulous jewellery which, if you go for the silver range, is surprisingly affordable. Check out her lovely shiny things on my-wardrobe.com.
Alternatively, you can get some delicious Vivienne Westwood shoes for less than £100 (okay, they are the rubber ones – but nonetheless still worth lusting after). Here they are on asos.com. The peep-toe sling-backs with the big hearts are particularly fabulous, in my opinion (though I also have a hankering for the three-strap flats).
Nice to know you don’t always have to be filthy rich to own a little bit of a living legend, eh?

To tan or not to tan…

That indeed is the question. The issue of skin colouring has been on my mind this last day or two, since I read that the Welsh Assembly has proposed a ban on sunbeds for the under 18s (wait a minute, why just the young ‘uns, boyos?). And now that the real sun’s rays are getting weaker (though you wouldn’t believe it here in Brighton, I saw a sunbather on the beach in a bikini just TWO days ago…), many people will be reaching for the bottle. The fake tan bottle, that is.
Now I gave up hope of ever having even the most delicately sun-kissed skin some years ago (I’m an SPF45 girl, even on a cloudy day in summer and fake tan just doesn’t work on me… it just looks so, well, fake). But admittedly, bottle tanning is big business. So before you take the plunge and go hog wild with the St Tropez, check out this link to the worst celebrity fake tans on the Entertainment Wise website.
There are some real shockers there, with Jordan (is she Jordan again now, or still Katie Price, I can’t keep up?), Lindsay Lohan, Christine Aguilera and Jessica Simpson competing for the Most Highly Tango’d crown. Some, on the other hand, don’t look too bad. You be the judge.
All I’m saying here is perhaps it’s time we all accepted our pastiness (well, the naturally pasty among us, that is). Embrace that deathly-white glow. And if you are lucky enough to have olive, brown or black skin, just think – the old ‘to tan or not tan’ issue is one less thing you have to worry about.