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Thursday, 20 September 2012

iPhone 5 Farce

On the eve of the iPhone launch and needing a new phone, anyone would think that T-Mobile didn't want me to part with my hard earned cash. So, here's the chain of events.

Still having the iPhone 3GS without backlight, I'm pretty keen to upgrade to the iPhone 5. I've been out of contract - awaiting the iPhone 5 launch - for several months. So I tweeted @tmobileuk who helpfully sent me the iPhone 5 upgrade option link. So a good start!

I then assumed that the (extortionate!) deals mentioned surely must be for new customers. Not deals for someone with 15 years of loyal custom.

How wrong I was.

So T-Mobile do not reward loyalty it seems.

So having spoken to 5 different people a few nights ago, being passed from pillar to post, and having to give my password about 4 times, I got pretty much nowhere.

A helpful Scottish manager, Joe, called me back, but reiterated the point that I had to pay the device fee of £219. I have historically received £100-£150 towards the device. This doesn't apply to the iPhone 5.

So, why would an innovative forward-thinking company think that a customer would want an archaic device on which they could apply a discount?! A bit of an insult, no?!

Having resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't get a better deal, and I'd only be £160 better off over 2-years if I bought the device outright, I thought I'd bite the bullet and upgrade online.

Simple right?!


I always get all my online deliveries sent to work. As it's convenient for me. You know, being the paying customer and all! T-Mobile won't allow this.

So keeping positive, I thought well, I'll select the "deliver to store" option.

It's not an option.

So STILL trying to keep positive, I thought I'd call them AGAIN to arrange this option.

It's NOT an option!

The option was "change your home address to be your work address, then we can deliver to your work address."

My response: "Oh! So in your quest for security (and the need to submit your inside leg measurement online for security reasons!) and only delivering to the billing address, you're advising me to commit fraud by changing my address, where my card is NOT ACTUALLY REGISTERED!"

Their response: "Well....errrr....yeah."

THEEEN, the phone went dead from Jovial Geordie Neil! So, I thought, oh he'll ring me back, we just got cut off.

I'm still waiting!

He did tell me I had £300 for being a loyal customer that I can do absolutely nothing with. Great.

So here we are. On the eve of the iPhone 5 launch, without the ability to upgrade.

So T-Mobile, I want to know how you're going to sort this mess out!

Yours impatiently

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Music Maestro

Goodness me, I have not posted a blog in about 6 weeks!  So I am hopping back to it here and now!  In addition, to all things beauty and fashion, I love music.

It picks me up when down
It motivates me when working out
It reminds me of certain eras and people
It sends me to sleep at night

Without music I am nothing. 

Wherever I am in the house I have my radio and/or TV on.  Often both!  I like noise and atmos!

I suppose I have my Mum & Dad to thank for getting me into music.  We still talk now how Billy Joel kept us going during those long car journeys to Torquay when we were young (my 2 sisters and I).  52nd Street is a such a sentimental album to me as we were pretty much raised on Billy Joel.  Big Shot.  Stiletto. Rosalinda's Eyes.  All Billy classics.

Also, Elton John's Yellow Brick Road and Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits album featured heavily in my childhood.  My Mum also loved Dionne Warwick and Elkie Brookes.  Ms. Warwick's dulcet tones of Heartbreaker and Elkie's raspy soul voice singing Pearl's A Singer were often blaring throughout the house.

My own music tastes are pretty varied.  Billy Joel will always hold a special place in my heart as this is the singer that resonates with me the most.  I do though adore all things soul and lots of happy handbag vocal piano house music.

The world became a better place when the gifted Luther Vandross blessed us with his silky smooth honey dipped voice.  What. A. Singer.  I was 1st introduced to Luther by my friend's boyfriend.  He used to come around to our house with his vinyl records and play them, filling the air with this beautiful & flawless soul sounds.  The 1st Luther album I listened to was Give Me The Reason.  An absolute classic to this day.

I was lucky enough to see Luther in concert several times, and he did not disappoint live where so many artists do.  I remember one story he told of pinching an ashtray from Roberta Flack's house as a momento as he was so in awe of her!  He sang to a recently married couple.  He was quite the entertaining gentleman.

My Luther Faves include:
Stevie Wonder is pretty much in the same league as Luther for me.  I took my sister to his concert at the MEN in Manchester a few years ago.  It. Was. Spectacular.  "Do I Do" is my all time Stevie fave.  Absolutely love this track!

Like most people my age, I really got into the clubbing scene from the age of 16.  I had many friends at school who were heavily into their music and a friend of mine even made a career out of it ( in addition to his 80 hour/week city lawyer job!).  I used to love DJs including Jeremy Healy, Alastair Whitehead, Graeme Park and Masters at Work.

We all used to go to the Music Factory in Sheffield most weekends.  We would also travel around to big clubs when superstar DJs were playing including MAW.  You would always hear Matt & Lee discussing "back to back" in the day of the Technics 1210s!  Of course we have gone digital since then!

There was nothing more euphoric than an awesome lyric heavy tune filling a club with a banging bass line and the place would just go mental.  Absolutely brilliant.

I loved Jeremy Healy's Smooth Criminal as his opening track.  I went crazy for Graeme Park's remix of Back to Love.  I danced my pants off when Lisa Lisa Let The Beat 'Em came on.  The same goes for Inner City's Pennies from Heaven.

In fact, one of the best gigs I have EVER been to was when the Brand New Heavies played at Ronnie Scotts last year.  Small and intimate with the acid house vibe reverberating around the dimly lit room.  We all started off refined and sitting down.  We all finished up on our feet, dancing around like mentalists.  Unbelievable.  It was amazing! 

There is no better dance track for me than Sounds of Blackness Foundation Mix of Everything's Gonna Be Alright.  A sure fire winner anytime!

I have found 2 Soul Sisters on twitter in Sarah & Selina (@saraharah and @mrs_monkeycat).  We always share music tastes and @ each other when we hear fabulous choonage at the gym, on the radio or generally out and about!

Music is a real bonding mechanism and common ground finder!

What really prompted me to write this blog post was my scouring on Amazon yesterday for Hed Kandi's original  Back to Love with ALL my favourite club tracks on.  Ever.  Amen.  So I bought it - 2nd hand as new is £50.

Check out this track list!

1. Saturday Night Sunday Morning (T-Empo Mix)-T-Empo
2. Shine On (Original 12 Inch)-Degrees Of Motion
3. Got A Love For You (Hurley's House Mix)-Jomanda
4. Space Cowboy (Morales Classic Club Mix)-Jamiroquai
5. Where Love Lives (Come On In)-Alison Limerick
6. Reachin' (Latin Workout Mix)-Phase 2
7. Tears (Classic Vocal)-Frankie Knuckles
8. That's The Way Love Is (Deep House Mix)-Ten City
9. Right Before My Eyes (House Vocal Mix)-Patti Day
10. Promised Land (Original Mix)-Joe Smooth
11. Back To Love (Graeme Park Remix)-The Brand New
12. Sunshine On A Rainy Day (Original 12 Inch
13. Ghetto Heaven-The Family Stand
14. The Masterplan (Extende Version)-Diana Brown And
15. Apparently Nothin' (Original 12 Inch Mix)-Young
16. Got To Have Your Love (12 Inch Club)-Mantronix
17. Let The Beat Hit'Em-Lisa Lisa And The Cult Jam
18. Musical Freedom (12 Inch Mix)-Paul Simpson
19. Ain't Nobody (Original Version)-Rufus & Chaka
20. Going Back To My Roots (Original)-Richie Havens
21. All This Love That I'm Giving (Original
22. Optimistic (Album Version)-Sounds Of Blackness

So there you have it, an insight into my musical tastes and favourite tracks.

What are your fave tunes?  Do you find music motivates you?  Transforms your mood?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Kate xxx

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Body Bling

I don't know about you but I am sucker for all things sparkly.  You may call me Magpie!  I was a dedicated aficianado of the Estee Lauder gold body oil when they launched it years ago, but they discontinued it it seems.

On a visit to Selfridges, Manchester (Exchange Sq) with my sis years ago, we both spotted the Scott Barnes Body Bling.  It was in a simple cylinder case calling our name.  We did not buy it that time, which was a case of more fool us as it then seemed to disappear off the radar for months.

Scott Barnes Body Bling
£24.95 from Beauty Bay
When I was looking around for Xmas pressies this year, I thought I'd look again for this, and lo and behold, I found it on Beauty Bay, so I bought this quicker than you could say Tanned Santa!  This was in a long line of Xmas pressies of "one for you and one for me!"'d be rude not to, right!?

This product is an instant colour you apply as a body moisturiser really.  I apply it after moisturiser though.  As it is brown, you can see where you apply it and rub in further where needed.

It gives a lovely golden finish and instant tan without the fake tan faff!  I absolutely love it as it dries quickly, lasting colour, never transfers to clothes and makes you look super healthy!  It is not a cheap product at £24.95, but you can rarely get one spray tan for that, and this will last you months.  They do it it the Original colour (as above) or in Platinum too.  I have not tried the Platinum though as it is for fairer skin, and I am quite olive.

Be sure to wash it off thoroughly in the shower though as when I say it lasts, it does!  Don't make the mistake of not washing it off properly then drying yourself on a nice clean, white, fluffy towel! 

This product is perfect now we are moving into Summer when wondering what products to buy for hols.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Me wearing Body Bling for my Xmas Do so you can see how great it looks!  Instant glowing tan!

So go get yourself some Blingtastic Body Bling and glow healthily!
Blingtastic love
Kate xxx

Saturday, 14 April 2012

YSL Tributes - In The Pink

I am writing this post listening to The Pasadenas "Tribute" track as I thought this was fitting for my shoe post!

As you know, I am keen on pink (understatement I know!), so when I saw YSL had launched their Tribute sandal in petal pink, I actually thought I had died and gone to pink shoe heaven.  I planned on getting these shoes at the end of the month as a treat, however, as we all know, best laid plans and all that...!

So I was in Manchester for Manchester Fashion Week, and fortunately the shops were open after  the show had finished.  My plan was to go and look at the Alexander Wang Donna Hobo bag for my Sis' 40th pressie then pop to Harvey Nicks for a long overdue Serendipity cocktail (no longer on the menu so you need to ask for it!)

I had to walk past the shoe department to get to the restaurant - they do this on purpose don't they?! I had not previously tried on the Tribs, so was more curious than anything at this stage.  I had been trolling around Manchester for a little while now in high heels (naturally!), so my feet were tired, so this was a real test.

I was totally amazed how comfortable these shoes were.  They are 140mm high including the 30mm platform.  Even the male sales assistant said to me he could tell how comfortable I felt from the way I was parading around the shoe department.  I however relented and walked away.....

So on I went to savour the delish Serendipity upstairs, and who was to Whatsapp me but @Stylisa!  Lisa had just purchased the Chanel purse to match her classic bag so was sharing the occasion with me - we always do this btw!  I started to tell her about my YSL lust, and Lisa said I should just go and buy them.

Who was I to argue?!

So I told the barman to hold the ice, trolled downstairs and made my way to YSL Heaven.

With Flash
My heart did sink though when the Sales Asst showed me how scuffed they were, and then brought out another "faulty" box.  YSL have in fact recalled the Petal Pink Tributes due to the scuffing issues.  The ones I tried on though were hardly scuffed, so being me, negotiated some discount, made the purchase, then went upstairs to drink my congratulatory Serendipity!

No Flash
 The leather is really lovely with that really new leathery smell!  I think they will look great with a pretty white embroidery anglaise dress, or more funked up with my battered boyfriend jeans and pink t-shirt. Or maybe my (well I say my, but I bought it for my Mum, and reclaimed it!) Ferre lattice white shirt and jeans.  Either way, the options are endless I am sure!

I hope you love my pink purchase as much as me!
Fabulicious love
Kate xxx

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Life Thru My Lens

I have to start this post by saying I am actually quite shocked about how many pairs of sunglasses I own!  But given the fact I do not go anywhere without my sunglasses, I guess I shouldn't really be that shocked!

I was inspired to write this by Enya of (@EJMfashion) when she requested she mention me in a blog post, as well as my good Twitter friend, Sharon (@SharonAWilliams) who was surprised I had not yet blogged about sunglasses knowing my affixation with them!

I remember my first love of sunglasses came around when I was 16.  We were off on what was deemed to be our last family holiday (it wasn't!) and I wanted some fitting glasses for the occasion.  I trolled off to John Lewis in town accompanied by the parents.  Frilly Gilly (My Mum!) got really involved in the selection, whilst Pete The Neat (My Dad!) couldn't have been any less interested!  I remember I opted for some large black Ted Lapidus sunglasses and parted with my £59 cash.

Ted Lapidus

On reflection, they were too old for me.  I am however pretty gutted I have no idea where they are now, as they are being sold for around £250!

My love of sunglasses has clearly continued until this day.  They jazz up an outfit.  Hide a hangover.  Create some Je Ne Sais Quoi mystique and are altogether sexy.

So here I have my collection of sunglasses from the last 15 years - I think!

I remember being quite into Moschino from a young-ish age (not that I bought anything then you understand!).  I loved their quirky designs, so when I saw these sunglasses with hearts on the frame, I clearly had to have them.  I purchased them from J C Bird on Surrey Street in Sheffield - a long standing Sheffield opthalmic institution.

Moschino Heart Rimmed Sunglasses - purchased circa 1998

Now clearly, the John Lennon-esque sunnies were the rage, as I am normally a Big Glasses Gal!

Moving onto the black plastic Gucci's...

When I opened the box to reveal these glasses tonight, my first reaction was "OMG!"  I had actually forgotten I had bought these glasses, and more surprisingly that I still had them given my militant throwing out tendencies!
Black Plastic Gucci - Sunglass Hut - bought 2001

I bought these when I worked in Lakeside - for my sins!  It was a retail graduate training programme with the world's worst retailer!  So I needed to shop to keep sane!

Anyway, Sunglass Hut was conveniently located outside my store, so needless to say I spent many months coveting these sunnies and speaking to the manager.  When it came to the purchase, I negotiated a 30% discount, so paid around £75, instead of the usual £100 or so.  You'll see this price negotiation becomes a pattern!

With the next pair below, you can see bigger sunnies were coming into fashion.

Dolce & Gabbana - purchased from EyeFinity circa 2003

I loved these glasses as they were plain and black and big - well 9 years ago they were considered big.  You'll not be surprised to learn I bought (and wore!) these on a cold, dark and rainy January day!  This was the 1st non-hard flexible semi-circle case I had seen.  I loved it!  As they are quite a wrap-around design, I now just wear these for running.  How fly!

I then seemed to move onto Chanel around 2003/4!

Chanel Sunglasses with Diamante Double C Detail
Bought around 2003

Now to call these "sun" glasses would be pushing it!  As you can see (you see what I did there?!), they are clear.  They do no shielding from the sun - whatsoever!  I did love these though due to the sparkle.  I have no idea where I bought these from, but remember paying around £150.

I then stuck with the Chanel theme for my next pair.

Chanel Blue tinted lenses with Mother of Pearl Double C logo

Bought from J C Bird circa 2005

Worn for my Middle Sis' wedding, Sydney 2006
Once again, these sunnies look the business, with their graduated blue tint lenses.  They are very sexy, but as for shielding the sun, they are not the best!  I had my eye on these for a while.  My dad was doing a kitchen for the aforementioned J C Bird, so I ensured he negotiated these glasses into the deal around 2005!  They were £160 full price.  We got them for £80.  Dad paid half, so cost me £40!   Bargain!

Now after buying a few pairs of sunglasses that did not really keep the sun out, I thought I better buy some that did do the job! 

Bulgari seemed to launch onto the market around this time.  I clearly thought all my birthdays had come at once with all the diamante detail.  Right. Up. My. Street.  Total magpie!

I remember thinking I was going to treat myself to these with my 1st pay packet in my new job - March 2008.  So off I went to Manchester to looksee.

I umm'd and ahhh'd, dragging my sis into the shop with me, wondering if they were too big, but having a big fat moon face, large glasses suited me, especially those ones with a squarer edge to counteract the roundness of my face.

So I decided upon these.

Bulgari Black 8016-B

Mucho bling!

As worn in Miami 2011
Now these glasses were very expensive - so hence the umming and ahhing!  However, I did ask for discount!  My sis worked in Harvey Nichols at the time so meant I got upto 35% discount.  However, they did not stock this model in HNs.  The man in Sunglass Hut did not know that!  So I asked if he would match the discount, and he did!  Without hesitation!  So I got 30% off!

Now as my sis worked in HNs, it would have been rude not to make the most of the discount right?!  HNs run a lot of events, so I went with my older sister to see my middle sister to see what was on offer!  I don't know whether you noticed, but I did not have any brown sunglasses in my collection, so clearly needed to rectify said oversight!  Over-sight?!  Geddit?!

HNs had this Lucky Dip event where folded paper with % discounts were in a bowl, and after you'd decided upon your purchase, you delved in to select one with a discount of up to 50% off.  I think I got 20 or 30% off, so paid less than £200 for these in 2010.

Bulgari Brown 8058B
Side view with bling!  Hint of Tortoiseshell on the frames.

As worn in Greece at The Acropolis 2010

During my most recent jaunt to London, I found myself in Selfridges!  I have absolutely no idea how!

I browsed the sunglasses department, as I always do and came across some Victoria Beckham aviators.  Now, I must have tried on 4,000 pairs of aviator sunglasses in the vain hope that some, somewhere, somehow will suit my face!  AND THESE WERE THEM! 

Victoria Beckham 0052 Aviators

Graduated Blue Tinted Lens

Love the pointed and spring hinged arms

As modelled upon  request from Twitter!

I was not however wanting to part with £275 on what was already an expensive weekend away.  So I was going to ask my friend, who works at Selfridges, to get them for me.

But there was no need for that!  As the wonderful Selina (@mrs_monkeycat) tweeted me to say they had come into The Outnet that day!  WITH A WHOPPING 64% off!  So I got my credit card out faster than you could say SPF15!  So I paid £119 for these bad boys! 

I love these sunnies as they are cool and funky, when I normally go for glam!  I love the gold grills, they just make them different!  They are perfect to accessorize a more casual outfit.

Now as you may expect, I have my eye on some more sunnies!  When I spotted these VB ones in Selfridges, I also spotted some Bulgaris.  I love my bling ones, but wanted some more simpler ones. 

So I tried on these.  And loved them...

Bulgari Black 6037B
Just a little bit of bling - I cannot help myself!
I won't pay full price!  Will only get them if my friend can get me discount or if they go on sale!

I hope you've enjoyed My Sunglasses Journey!  I must admit, it has been quite a journey for me with all the memories!

What are you like sunglasses-wise?  What style are you coveting currently?

Would love to hear your thoughts!
Sunnilicious love!
Kate xxx

Monday, 2 April 2012

Retail Therapy - new shoes!

I don't know about you, but after a rubbish morning, I thought the only fitting solution would be to go shopping!  Retail therapy doesn't half cheer us girls up!  So off I went into town.

A pair of nude and a pair of black patent slingbacks for work - about 4" heels.  So more summery due to the slingback but not toe curling freezing when it is not so warm.

Nothing of the sort!

I wandered into Office, Schuh and Clarks (yes I know, it was on my way!).  There was nothing to be seen so I was getting disheartened.  I did see these Ted Baker (Svana) ones in Office but they were £120.  There were also peep toe which ideally I do not want.

Ted Baker Svana at Office - £120
 I did not want to spend that much as I had seen some in John Lewis for £75 each, so that was perfect.  Well, that was until John Lewis sold out!  So onwards I went!

I wandered into TK Maxx.  Now, I don't do rummaging, as frankly I cannot be bothered.  However, the shoes were on the same floor as the entrance and pretty neatly lined up.  Winning.

I was after some Birkenstocks as mine are on their last legs and they are my "put the bin out slash dash to the car shoes" so when I saw they had them in, I thought Charlie Sheen again - winning!  I'm always a size smaller in Birkenstocks than usual, and these pearlised white ones fitted perfectly.

Pearlised White Birkenstocks - TK Maxx - £24.99

Pearlised White Birkenstocks - TK Maxx - £24.99 - close up

So, when I saw the T-Bar ones in pink, I thought "it'd be rude not to!" So I got these too!

Pink Toe Post Birkenstocks - £29.99

So clearly, by this point, I had not bought anything I intended!  Though replenishing my stocks!  As I threw out around 40 pairs of shoes in January (I have a mahoosive annual throw out - will blog that in Jan 2013 - planning!) I continued in that vein, as I needed to replace by black peep toes I threw out, so I opted for these.  These will go perfectly with my LBD for Work (see that post from yesterday here).

BCBGeneration £29.99
So 3 pairs of shoes for less than £85.  Now, that is what I call a bargain!

I still do need my slingback patent nude and black heels, so be sure to keep me posted if you see any during your retail therapy travels!

Fabulicious love!
Kate xxx

Sunday, 1 April 2012

LBD for Work

Having been quite impressed with what I've seen online of Gok Wan's collection for TU at Sainsbury's, I went to looksee more closely today whilst I was shopping for my weekly veg.  I must admit overall I was impressed with the quality and colours. 

The peplum skirt and top were not great quality so I put them back. 

Peplum Top (I looked at black)
Peplum Top £30
The other reason for putting back the brightly coloured Tunic Dress was the thought of everyone and their mother wearing it, even though I really like it.  It's a great shape and colour for me.

Tunic Dress £30

What I did decide upon was this 40s inspired funnel neck dress for work.

Black Funnel Neck dress - £45
It has panelling around the waist to cinch you in.  It has an elastic underskirt to smooth you down and give you a great shape and sucks you in!  The only downside is that is takes a while to get on, then to zip up the gold zip at the back, then takes time to get off as it is so snug!  Additionnally, as it is man-made fibres, and snug, it may mean I may get a tad hot!  Only time will tell....

It looks good though!  I don't know about you, but I feel grown up and elegant in dresses.  This is very sexy yet demure, a great fit and super price! I will pair with my Russell & Bromley nude patent courts - elongates the legs!

So for those of you, who like me, cannot afford the Roland Mouret Galaxy Dress....

...this is for you!

Would love to hear your thoughts!
Kate xxx

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Spring Summer Fashion

Judging by today's weather, it seems I'm a week too late for this post, but thought we could all do with some lovely fashion pieces to cheer us up and think of sipping Pimms on the lawns of England squinting in the late afternoon sun exchanging gossip!

For me summer, regardless of latest trends, is all about bright colours, white embroidery anglaise and florals.  It is just a cooincidence that this is SS12 trend!  Bonus!

I absolutely loved Costello Tagliapetra's SS12 collection.  Take this simple tangerine tea dress.  Simple.  Elegant.  Summery.  Can dress up with high heeled silver sandals or simple flip flops.
Costella Tagliapetra SS12 Collection

I totally love this McQ white broidery anglaise dress from Matches.  This can be paired with nude sandals or flip flops or inject some acid colours such as turquoise or fuschia.

Mc Q Broderie anglaise dress £555
I'm a real sucker for embroidery anglaise so have been quite taken with this applique Serena dress from Reiss.

I have to say I am also impressed with Gok's collection for TU at Sainsbury's.  Great structure, colours and prices.

I love this cropped jacket for £45!

Gok for Tu - Cropped Jacket - £45 (Sainsbury's)
It would jazz up a white t-shirt and jeans.

I am always drawn to monochromatic looks, so love this black and white maxi dress from Debut at Debenhams.

Black Floral Print Maxi Dress - £90
 And I simply adore this yellow floral D&G dress as seen on the fabulous Helen Mirren The One Show this week. 

D&G Yellow Floral Print Dress
That's it for now!  Will no doubt post some more SS12 ideas soon!

Are you Fabuliciously Floral?  What's on your SS hit list?

Would love to hear your thoughts!
Kate x