A Sincere but Light-Hearted Mission To Make More of Myself!

Posts Tagged ‘Style Inspiration

Merle O’Grady Jewellery

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Merle O’Grady Jewellery.

My obsession with jewllery and all things bling-like continues. . !

I’m liking the work of Merle O’Grady at the moment. I think I am the last person to hear of her. Her work has been featured in In Style, Grazia, The Telegraph, Vogue and Elle among others this year.

Her necklaces are Statement with a capital S. Usually bib like, eye catching and very beautiful.

I especially like this Cosmos Bib necklace (£380). It is glamorous and elegant yet there is something distinctly tribal and summery about it. The rock beads seem to give it some edge.

I also like this small pendant which at £80.50 is slightly closer -but not close enough:(- to my price range.

All of the ear rings seem big and dangly. Ooh and some of the ear rings seem a little more affordable. This pair are £28.

Hmm and if I got them, I would be in very good company because allegedly Beyonce has purchased a pair of earrings designed by O’Grady. Apparently they are big and Beyonce was impressed by how lightweight they were.

Meanwhile Cheryl Cole has this bracelet which I love, the Bombshell bracelet (£215).

I think that this bracelet embodies what the Merle O’Grady designs are all about. Feminine jewellery with a contrasting often industrial type edge. Her style seems to fit in with all the skull-like bracelets I see floating around at the moment and yes indeed, my beautiful scarf. It is strange, I used to think that jewellery had to be delicate and pretty pretty. Now I realise that some of the pretty things are actually pretty because they incorporate this in some way and then go and do the opposite with the rest of the piece.

There is a great interview with Merle in the August Issue of Make Jewellery and you can see or purchase (lucky you if you do!) her current pieces here .

Feed my new jewellery addiction, what other pieces should I be swooning over? Is there one particular brand or designer that I should know about? What do you think of Cheryl’s bracelet, would you wear it?

All images from the Merle O’Grady website except the Cheryl Cole one which came from InStyle online.



Written by essjay23x

June 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

At the dressing table!

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At the dressing table!

So yesterday, I did something that I haven’t done for a long time.

Does anybody else remember playing at their Mother’s dressing table when they were younger?

I do. I spent hours there. Mesmorised by all the little jewels and treasures that it held.

We are not and are still not rich by any means but nevertheless Mum’s dressing table was full of delights and, as we will see in a minute, still is.

Sometimes, it is the simple things which provide the most pleasure.

At this point and that during my childhood, Mum was an Avon Lady. One of my favourite memories is concentrating hard to apply a sample lipstick to my lips. There was always so many colours to choose from. You know, I may have invented overlining! In my day, us five year olds did it with the lippie itself. Very industurious.

Then, there was always a spritz of perfume. Again, an Avon sample.

Then to accessories.

I would slip on one of Mum’s many rings or polish up my very own signet ring, grab a handbag (sometimes courtesy of Granny) and some of Mum’s heels then I would tottle off to help Mum push brochures through the letterboxes or collect order forms.

Amazingly I never broke a leg in Mum’s size sixes even though I was barely shoe size two at the time. I think I walked better in heels back then and I was almost certainly better styled.


Looking for a hairband yesterday, I found myself at Mum’s dressing table again and instantly time stopped and I turned in to a little girl, oohing and ahhing. A complete hour of bliss where it did not matter if my tummy was not 100% toned or that my jeans were feeling a little tight. It didn’t matter that I had a list of To do’s as long as my arm to complete nor did it matter that my car was stuck outside the house completely broken and ready for the scrapheap.

No, nothing mattered as I immersed myself in the delights at my Mum’s dressing table and here is a little peek at some of the gorgeous little treats I uncovered.


The Italy bracelet

I remember this one. Dad brought it back from Italy where he had been working. Apparently, he brought it at a market and had to hustle the price down. At the time, I thought not how unromantic this was but how exotic it all seemed and this bracelet was the most beautiful thing that we had all seen.



 Princess Di’s engagment ring

I remember that Mum treasured this replica (some newspaper promotion) almost more then her own when we were younger. It was one of those look but don’t touch things as were the royal wedding mugs in the kitchen.



Watch on a neck chain

Ooh! Mum, you must be getting old. I’m sure that these are back in fashion again.

Trinket box

I remember this one. This is where so many of my favourite things lived. Isn’t it gorgeous? A heart and gold with red carpet inside. Quite royal looking. I think Mum might be a bit for the royal family. Oh and I spotted Queenie ear rings too. Little gold studs with the profile of the Queen (Victoria?!) in the middle.



Silver charm bracelet

Now I have heard Mum talk about this before but I don’t think I have ever seen it. Maybe she treasures it so much that she kept it out of reach from my calamity jane five year old fingers then again, I do remember when I was younger she used to say that silver looked cheap and for more wanton ladies or something along those lines. So maybe this charm bracelet became her little secret. Whatever the reason, I’m glad she has got it out again. She has collected so many charms, I need to find out where they are all from.

‘Colin’ engraved bracelet

The engraving would suggest that this has something to do with my Dad. Quite sweet, really, I guess!


Hey, there was also a couple of badges from childhood. The Prefect one was 100% mine. Hee hee, a very good student I was and I, er, happen to think that the Blue Trefoil badge might be mine too.

 Lots of perfume

Mum! All that money I’ve spent on perfume and look at all this perfume you have right here. Oh and there, look, is Lola. A present from two of your lovely daughters. One of them, me. Wasn’t that nice of us to give her such a lovely perfume as Lola for Mothers day?! Mum was very pleased although she was absolutley overwhelmed by the bottle then the beautiful scent itself. Typical!


See, I was blonde once. The blonde little girl is me and the dark haired baby is one of my sisters. I think these were took at Butlins in the early 80’s.


Oops, Mum had some unopened chocolates from France on her dressing table. They were very niced wrapped with an Eiffel Tower charm and each chocolate a landmark. And they tasted very nice too. Sorry Mum but it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t get in to a little bit of mischief at your dressing room table. I’ll pop to Thorntons later in the week. She won’t mind, really . . !

Well, I hope you enjoyed the little peek at Mum’s dressing table. I only hope one day somebody finds mine as fascinating. What childhood gems do you remember?

Oh and sorry, I know some of the photos are rubbish and do not do the little treasures justice but I had uploading issues (again!) so had to result to the webcam!


Written by essjay23x

May 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Indulging SATC!

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Indulging SATC!

Like so many darlings out there, I am proof that you get it more then once. I am currently suffering a very bad case of Sex And The City Fever. I’ve had it before. Once when the series was ending and then when the first film came out and now, I have it again.

So sorry girls but when I’m suffering, I like to indulge myself. Be warned you might catch something (SATC style) but here are my top Sex And The City moments.

*Ex And The City

Raw, raw emotion when Big tells Carrie that he is engaged to Natasha and then poor Carrie about to walk away in style gets her bag caught on the chair and what did you do, laugh or cry? Poor Carrie, a clutz like me. ( Symptom 1 of SATC fever, the repetition of sentence including the name, Carrie and the phrase, like me! Apparently this scene almost never happened because SJP was not having shoulder bags in SATC . . . until Fendi showed one!

*Belles of The Balls

I actually got into SATC quite late and this was probably the first episode that hooked me. Carrie is finally getting used to Aidan’s country living and then Big needs her. At the end of the day Big and Carrie have such a strong connection and it is evident here. Loving the fight too between Big and Aidan. It may be a bit indulgent but what girl doesn’t want two delicious men basically fighting over her?! That is the second symptom of SATC fever, dreaming it could all so easily have being me. I could have being born in New York, I could have being strutting around in Manolo Blahniks . . .but life got in the way!;)

*I heart NY

Big is leaving New York and so we see the city at its best. A carriage ride in New York, so romantic!

*The Last Series

SATC was ending and four girls were determined that their stamp on the fashion world would stay forever. SATC style is really showcased in the last series.

*Carries Closet Clearout in film number 1.

Amazing, crazy clothes and a girlie night we all need to have once in our life.

Ooh, I’m feeling a bit inspired now to go and sort my wardrobe out. SATC Fever symptom 3, I will be Essjay Bradshaw. Life may have got in the way until now but now I’m going to rock it. Of course, I may poke my head out at some point over the weekend to catch the fabulous film. Eeeeepppps!

So girlies, feeling afflicted yet? Sorry about that but go on, indulge. Share your favourite SATC moments and combos in the comments. I want to wallow!!



PS Check out Claire, The Fashion Teller . She has a channel on You Tube. Her Vlog about shoes is so passionate and inspiring. She also has a beautiful blog and is maybe one of the closest things that the Uk has to a Carrie Bradshaw, style-wise!

Written by essjay23x

May 28, 2010 at 10:41 am

The Fashion Challenge!

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                    The Fashion Challenge!


Ok, I have put quite a lot in to the beauty and cosmetic side of making more of myself but I feel, that the fashion/style side is starting to slide.

Where as I used to spend three hours going from Oasis to Warehouse to TopShop and back again. Lately, I’m more likely to spend my spare time perusing the make up counters or skin care aisles in Boots or Superdrug. So inspired by some outfits at last nights National Television Awards (I adored Danni Minogue’s cream dress!); some recent Outfit of the Day posts that I’ve seen lately and other very beautiful fashion posts and of course, The Style Diet ( , I have decided that it is time to extend my hunting ground a little and set myself a challenge!

I’ve never been particularly fashionable. It is rare that whatever is in fashion actually suits me but when I find something I like. I keep to it and try to keep updating it a little to keep it current. Sometimes I fail but sometimes it works and then just for a few minutes, I’ll feel like a princess.

So over the next few months, I am going to identify between four or five things, style inspirations, to build outfits from. I will try to build an outfit from each inspiration so I have at least a minimum of four completely up to date ‘me’ looks to wear.

I guess the first part of this challenge is to find the signatures for my look. One or two of the inspirations may follow on from what has inspired me in the past. After all, style is about knowing what you like, what suits you and then working your outfits from there. However, as making more of myself is about more then outward appearences, it is important to embrace my creativity and there needs to be a couple of new influences in the mix.

Have you got any ideas? What inspires your style? Has anybody here ever sought style advice from a personal shopper or stylist?

I’m off hunting and I will let you know when I start catching some inspiration!


PS Please note that I think this will be a long term challenge. Do not expect an overhauled wardrobe next week. My budget ain’t got what it takes!

PSS Don’t forget, you can now comment and subscribe. See my competition post if you want the chance of winning some goodies. Also note I’m still a little confused about all the ways that a person can follow. So if you have a blog or video and state somewhere in them that you follow this blog and provide a link then I will count you as a subscriber as long as I know about it and then you can go straight to stage 2. See the post for more info! Any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Written by essjay23x

January 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm