Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Secret to Running (at any age!)

I'll let you in to a secret about running.....there is no secret. No-one is better, or mentally stronger, or has a magic ingredient that you couldn't possibly hope to have. They've just trained themselves to do it. (But there are a few things that you can do to make it easier). 

I've been asked by lots of people recently to write a blog post about running, specifically whether I'm a life long runner, or whether running is a recent thing for me, plus how to go about getting fit in "middle age".  So here it is. 

Now I can't pretend that I'm a serious runner in the club sense of the word, or that I'm ever even remotely interested in my times, unless I'm racing. And compared to lots of people I haven't run that much at all - 5 half marathons and one marathon, with my second planned for Sunday.

But running is as big a part of my life as it can be, next to being a wife, Mum, sister, daughter (in no particular order), friend, running a home and working. In fact sometimes it bumps one or two others off the top of the list - particularly running the home. The dust will always be there for a rainy day.

So this is my story.....

I ran on and off sporadically for many years. Occasionally I would go before school in the morning, then I ran fairly consistently at University and at Law School, plus when I trained in London - although the taxi fumes used to make me wheeze a bit after running around Green Park at lunchtime. Then when I was 25 I moved to Birmingham and I think that work got in the way, so I pretty much stopped my sporadic running.

After I came out of the fog of having had our first two, so when I was about 32 or 33, I remember going to see an osteopath because my back was bad and I was horrified to hear that my muscles were like jelly and that my tone was poor. I was slim and I had time on my side but my muscles were rubbish. I was indignant. So indignant!

So I started doing some exercise again - mainly dancing and pilates. Then, having decided that I would never be a runner, I progressed to power walking in the early mornings with our son in a pushchair, and then at work at lunchtime. I also cycled to and from work.

I never really thought that I would get into running properly (and I know it's not for everyone). I'd always found more than half an hour - well even up to half an hour - pretty miserable. I remember reading an article about a girl who started running with her Dad to get fit and after a few weeks she realised that she really started to look forward to her running sessions. I thought that she was bonkers. Totally mad. How could anyone look forward to THAT? 

Then just before I got pregnant with our third (so when I was about 37) I started running again with a girl who lived locally. I can't even remember what prompted it now but I do remember our first run. She was good. I was not. After our first run, which was about 4/5 miles in total, I was puce and shaking. Seriously, I think that my body was in shock. Shortly afterwards I was pleased to find out that I was pregnant and that I couldn't run any more! (Arguably it's a slightly drastic approach but it bought me a good few years!) 

After number 3, I spent three or four mornings a week swimming, with Matilda sitting in her car seat on the side of the pool. And then one day I noticed that I had arm muscles.  That was quite a nice feeling. And that all coincided with meeting new people who I really liked and they ran so I joined them in it. By this stage I was probably 39 or 40. I felt self conscious in a group though - I was the weakest link and occasionally I dropped out but I got to like the chatting, the freedom and the brain space that it gave me. Oh and I discovered that I liked running in the dark. You can't see the hills in the dark or the road stretching out into the distance. See, I still had a slight aversion to it even then. 

Five years ago my usual running buddy was away over the summer and another friend said that she was training for the Birmingham half marathon. I was happy to go out and train with her but never did I imagine, for one minute, that someone like me would run it. I just didn't think that I was good enough, or fast enough....or anything "enough" really. And then having done the training I thought that I may as well run the race. So I did and it was fabulous. I loved the whole thing and still couldn't believe that someone like me could do something like THAT.

And then as I've got older, I've done more running and I love it. I love being out in the fresh air, the brain space that I get and I love chatting to my friends, I honestly think that the older you get, the more stamina you get. And if you've had babies - well nothing compares to the slog of giving birth!

So that's where I am with it now. I run probably five times a week and I can tell within a few steps whether I'm going to find it an easy run or a hard run. I often get hot and sweaty, or freezing cold and wet in the rain. I've run in snow, hail, wind and heat. And still I love it. Well sometimes I hate it but never if I'm with my friends and if I'm on my own and hate it well, I just go home. 


I remember my friend and I listening with interest when Paul Radcliffe was being interviewed on the radio. We listened with baited breath as to how she answered the questions "How do you start running?" What would she answer? What was the magic formula? How do you do this weird and wonderful thing that so many people do for hours on end? 

"you just put your trainers on and you go out of the door and start running". WHAT? Was that it? Was that all that she could offer us? In one sense she's right but I think that I may be able to offer a bit more insight. So this is what I would suggest:

Apps for beginners...

I know of two people close to me who have found apps really useful. I've witnessed my husband literally going from not being able to run for more than a minute and a half at the start of May, to doing 8km now without any problem. The great thing is that the Apps take the mystery out of running and the worry of whether you're going too slow or too fast and running for too short a distance or too long a distance. Follow them and your body will adapt so that you can make the distance. There are apps to follow for lots of distances so once you've finished the first one, you can always go on to the next one. 

For those who want to increase their distance/pace...mix it up! 

If you have been running for a while and you've reached the half an hour mark but want to break through that, I think that a slightly different approach helps.

Rather than slogging around the same route three times a week and hoping that it gets easier (often it doesn't) mix it up a little. Maybe try doing one "long" run at a slower pace than you would normally run. If you go with a friend and can maintain a chat, even a slightly panting one, that's a good sign.

The aim of this run is to increase your stamina. So maybe rather than thinking about the distance you want to cover during this run, think of the time that you want to be on your feet. Maybe aim for an extra ten or fifteen minutes. In training for this marathon, on our long runs my friend and I regularly stop - sometimes for a good fifteen minutes at Costa for a cherry bakewell, some ice cold water and a loo trip. Does it matter? Maybe, who knows? But it makes those three to four hours much more bearable and it gets the miles in the legs, which is the aim of the long run.

Alongside that do a hill session each week. This could be shorter - so perhaps about 20 minutes or so. Either choose a route with a few hills and work your way up those, or choose one hill and run to the top, walk down and run up again. The aim of this run is to increase your fitness. You will get out of breath and it might not be comfortable - but it will definitely help. 

And then if you can work in a speed session, this will help too. My husband is currently following an app to increase his speed. Essentially you run at your normal pace for a few minutes and then do a couple of minutes at an increased pace - not a sprint pace as you need to do it five or six times and not collapse in a heap after the first round. But just a bit faster, to the point that you probably couldn't hold a conversation with a friend. 

Once you have worked on your stamina, your fitness and your pace, you will find that you can run for longer. It's a bit like making a cake really - lots of different ingredients need to come together for it to be a good one!

Join a running Club

I've never really felt that running clubs are for me. It's more the rigidity of the timing of the sessions that puts me off - it's another thing to factor into a timetable that's already busy but I know many who love their running clubs and for sure, they will get you on the straight and narrow. But personally I prefer to be a bit wiggly! 


There are some fab books out there to read. One of my favourites is "Running Like a Girl" by Alexandra Heminsley. I would encourage any female runners out there to read this. Before any race I dip back into it and take a look at my favourite paragraphs. This is one of them:

"What I didn't know on those very early first runs - the ones where even my face seemed to hurt when I got home - was that I wasn't lily-livered or week-willed. Nor was I biomechanically unable to run. I was in fact "going lactic". I had no idea that for at regular pace it takes about ten minutes for the body to start taking on oxygen as fast as it needs it, for one's breathing to regular or for one's body to be properly warmed up. In fact I had not idea what pace I should be going at all.  My goal was simply not to die before the end. For weeks I suspected I was only able to run for ten minutes.......I want to weep when I think of the number of women who head round the block, only to return twelve minutes later, broken and tearful.....if only someone had told me sooner." 

And it's so true. Mile 2 of a run can honestly feel as bad as mile 20. Or put another way, you don't necessarily feel any worse at mile 20, than you do at mile 2.

Running Like a Girl (£5.94) Amazon

 One of my other favourite books "Don't stop me now" is by Vassos Alexander. Entitled "26.2 tales of a runner's obsession", he charts his running escapades and intersperses it with accounts of how others first started running, from Paula Radcliffe to Steve Cram the Brownlees and Nell McAndrew. If like me you people really interest you, this is a great read and easy to pick up and put down.

Take the pressure off..

But most of all remember, this is meant to be fun! Few of us are going to win any serious medals so see it as an opportunity to do something for yourself, to get out, to see your friends and to enjoy being outside and watching the seasons change. Life is made up of so many things that we have to do and this isn't one of them. So if it's not for you, don't do it. There are plenty of other things out there to do instead.

I should just add that of course this is only my view and everyone will have a different view and a different approach. Plus I haven't covered stretching, foam rolling and all the other bits and bobs - they may be for another post. As to running in middle age - well so long as you've not already caused yourself a nasty injury through something else, there's no reason why you can't be as good as the next person. Running is one of those things that we can actually get better with as we age. And as awful as the idea sounds, entering a race really gives you the feeling of what it's all about - the training, the preparation, the crowd, the feeling afterwards - it's nerve wracking but exciting.

Oh and if any of you ever fancy a run, you know where to find me. I'm always up for a run (and a cherry bakewell en route.)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

It's leather jacket time!

I've been after a navy leather jacket for a while now and somehow, yesterday, it just happened. Seriously, I finished a show at QVC, walked down to Chiswick High Street, went into Jigsaw and came out with this navy leather jacket.

I realised when I got back to the studio that it was 3pm and I hadn't had any lunch. The light headed feeling that I had surely meant that I was hypo-glycaemic and I barely remember buying it. Now there's an excuse if ever I've heard one - but it is true, sort of. Luckily I had had my eye on the leather jacket for a while so it was more of an automaton purchase as opposed to a wildly crazy one. And thank heavens for birthday money. 

So here is the Jigsaw washed biker jacket (£299) , helpfully covered up with a rather large furry scarf. Which is why there's another picture of it below...

For years I was seriously unsure about leather jackets and I didn't own my first one until I was forty - which I know is when many people stop wearing them. I still have my cream Oasis one, plus a Reiss one bought at a bargain price in  sale - but I've hankered after a navy one for a while.

This post was partly meant to be about non-black leather jackets, which is why I've featured ones in various different colours. A black leather jacket is of course a wardrobe staple, and many wouldn't consider another colour - but there are lots of black leather jackets about, so this is for those of you who just fancy something different.

Reiss is a great place to look for a leather jacket. They have a sale on at the moment and lots of the suede ones are reduced. But for now I'm featuring the Kate leather jacket from Reiss in khaki (£425). this is one of those great colours that takes on the colour of what it's put with - whether it's brown, khaki or another similar colour. 

Then of course there's the Everyday biker jacket from Baukjen, which I've shown here in winter cherry (£399). The reviews of it are fantastic so it's worth investigating, plus it also comes in black, pale pink and navy. This Winter Cherry is great with navy, black, grey and berry colours. Plus brighter yellows layered underneath it look great too. I could sooooo be tempted by this colour - just maybe not right now. 

This is the navy version of the Winter Cherry one, above. It's a lighter navy than the Jigsaw one and was also a strong contender - but the Jigsaw one just got to me first. 

All Saints is the other place to look for leather jackets. I used to love it when there was an All Saints at Bicester - that was really handy. This is the Balfern leather biker jacket from All Saints (£318) in slate blue. The sky blue and the washed pink, both below, are reduced to £222 in the sale.

I love the soft ice-cream colours of both of these jackets - and they work really well with lighter colouring. There's such a good range of leather jacket at All Saints that I've linked to all of them here.

Now the thing about leather jackets that there's just no getting away from is that they are pricey. True they may be a wardrobe staple that may last for 10 years and their eventual cost per wear may turn out to be negligible but nonetheless. So try lots first. Nick one from your mate to try if necessary. What I would say though is that if you're a wimp like me, in the colder weather they really do keep the chill out and they are great for layering under a fur gilet or an oversized coat. And the cropped Boden cashmere cardigans (even slightly moth eaten ones) layer underneath them really well.  

No post about leather jackets would be worthy if it didn't include the grey Onyx leather jacket from Hush (£295). I adore the colour of this jacket and I like the way that the sleeves are ruched, as if to demonstrate its utter softness.

So far I've dealt with leather and whilst it's pretty easy to find faux leather jackets in black, coloured ones can be slightly more scarce. This though is the Lucy faux leather biker from Oasis (£65) in dark green. It also comes in burgundy.

I hope that you've found this helpful and apologies for any typos or spelling mistakes. It's late and I need my bed!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The faux leather skinnies post!

Yesterday I wore my Boden waxed skinnies (sorry about the loo shot!) and they prompted comments from people asking me to write a post about faux leather/waxed, skinny jeans and leggings. So here it is! I can't pretend to have tried all of these - which usually I like to do before writing about pieces - but I have it on good authority that some of these are great.  

Well I may as well start off with what I know! The Boden black wax mayfair skinny jeans (£60.) The great thing about these jeans is that they come in petite, regular and long. I've probably had mine for about four years now and they wash like a dream and their colour hasn't faded. Each time that I wear them, Mr SG religiously asks if I've bought a new pair of leather trousers. Not yet....but I might. I think it's fair to take that as a green light. 

Boden mayfair skinny jeans (£60)

Warehouse tend to do a coated skinny jean each season and I've always found them to be really good, with a decent rise on them. This pair has two five star reviews and at £45 they aren't too bad a price.

I love a good coated skinny because they can be worn in exactly the same way as a jean but they just have a little more interest about them. They look great peeping out from underneath a classic long camel winter coat for example. I've styled mine with a kimono, above, but they are also great with biker boots and a chunky knit or heels and a sparkly top and blazer. The possibilities are endless. 

And for those who like a really high waist, and a shinier look, there's this New Look pair of skinny jeans for £25.99. This pair were hugely popular last year and much sought after, so you may need to be quick. They have a great price point too, particularly if you're just dipping your toe in the faux leather skinny water. 

The Next pull on coated leggings have had such rave reviews by so many people (particularly by Donna at "I won't wear sludge brown" that I'm really tempted to buy them. At £26 they are a great price and I'm definitely starting to feel the chill under my maxi dresses, so these would be great. They come in black, black snake, dark blue, berry and bronze so there should be something for everyone. I like the fact that they are styled as a jean, with pockets on the bottom, even though they are a pull on legging. Those pockets do a great job of breaking up our rears and even if we have a rear of the year, pockets make it look (even) better.  

And no discussion of faux leather leggings would be complete without the inclusion of Mint Velvet, who have this fab pair for £35. They have a super wide waist band (see below) which can be so comfortable, particularly on those tricky tum type days.

I'm just debating whether this Mint Velvet pair might have bumped the pair from Next off the top of my list. Oooh it's a tricky business and not one to be taken lightly. But then again it is dark blue that I'm after so maybe it's not a difficult decision after all. And how delighted are you all that I shared that conundrum with you?

Each year, Karen Millen do a pair of faux leather leggings. They have a pewter pair this year for £115 and whilst they are more pricey than the other pairs that I've shown you, these tend to go in the sale after Christmas. I think that I bought mine for about £60. I have to admit that I like the look of the high waist and the jersey inserts on these. Slightly maternityesque I admit but comfortable looking nonetheless. 

Hopefully there's something for everyone here and of course, I would love to know about any that I haven't covered. I'm looking out for ones that don't bag at the bottom or the knees and that don't slide down either! 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Wearing your hamster (not your heart) on your sleeve

As we were walking home from school the other day, having had a chat about different parenting styles, our youngest said to me: "Mum, you're not a tiger Mum, or a helicopter parent, or a snowplough Mum - you're a hamstery Mum."

"And why is that?" I asked.

"Because you give me cuddles and I can play with you all the time."

Not that she's after a hamster or anything. The words "subtle as" and "brick" spring to mind. But I think that I may have solved the problem without resorting to buying an actual, real, hamster.

You see our youngest loves my jumpers, especially really soft, furry ones. And fortuitously, jumpers which look like they have hamsters attached to them are a huge micro-trend at the moment (if that's not an oxymoron). Look, see what I mean. OK moving swiftly on, nope, I CANNOT find it - the Topshop jumper that I was after but here we go with some alternatives.

Pretty Little Thing fur sleeved jumper at Next (£35). The fur on this probably resembles a rabbit more than a hamster but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It could be good for those who have children who are badgering them for a rabbit.

The Zara fur sleeved top (£25.99) is a nod to this micro trend and arguably slightly more hamster like in its colouring.

There are two really good options in Mango but for some reason it's not possible for me to upload the photographs. This post isn't going so well is it?! But here are links to them in any event - there's the fur sleeved sweatshirt Mango (£29.99) and the Mango fur sleeve cardi (£59.99) - both are fab!

Apparently we're going hamster shopping on Saturday #fail.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Jigsaw's three alternatives to the pleated skirt.

I'd pretty much decided before I collected it, that the pleated skirt from Marks & Spencer would be going back but actually, I really liked it - particularly the SWISH! The reason that I thought it would be going back was because I decided that it looked so lovely on Maryam (who wore it on here a couple of posts ago) that I would just hate it on myself. But the colour is vibrant and fun and it moves it may get to stay.

But the whole reason for this post is that, from the messages that I get, I think there are whole host of ladies who love the idea of a pleated skirt but who haven't yet managed to hunt down the right one. So I've come up with three alternatives to a pleated skirt - two of which are actually pleated skirts but just bear with me - which might just do the trick.

Being the owner of several pleated skirts, I think that I've sort of sussed out which ones work the best. And this one could be one of them...

This is the Jigsaw multi coloured pleated skirt (£199) and it's from their English Eccentrics range for A/W. Although it is undoubtedly more pricey than many of the things that I feature on here, it is totally beautiful in the flesh and perfect for a Winter wedding, for Christmas, for a party, or for every day, just because you love it. It's 100% polyester so it has that lightweight floaty quality and it doesn't add any bulk to the frame. Nor is it boardy and stiff like some of the metallic skirts can be, which I always think is a shame because they just don't move with you.

The colours in the skirt are stunning and the way that it's panelled keeps the eye on the move. I love the idea of picking up the brighter blue, or the navy, in a fitted jumper. I held this skirt up to me and it was more of a mid calf length - but then again the model is 5ft 10" so that might explain it.

One tip when trying on these style skirts is that you must move in them. Even take a video if it helps. Rarely do we stand completely still and when a pleated skirt moves, it can be really much more flattering than when you're standing straight on looking at it in a mirror. Twirl, walk, sway and swish and watch how it moves with you.

The colour of this Jigsaw pleated iridescent skirt (£140) is absolutely stunning. As it says in the description of this skirt, it has a subtle A-line shape, being fitted at the waist and flaring slowly down to the hem. Again it's 100% polyester, with a lining and an iridescent outer layer, which is sheer towards the hem. I like this skirt because it's less "formally" pleated than a proper pleated skirt. It's a bit like a hair style which has loose, natural curls, as opposed to a very tight perm. So this skirt could potentially be an option as an alternative to a pleated skirt. 

Finally there's the Jigsaw heavy satin fluid skirt (£120). It comes in grey (above) a dark green and also magenta. This skirt is 100% viscose so again very fluid and rather than having pleats, it has gathers, which drape from the waistband. 

The first skirt has kind of snuck in by the back door although to be fair, despite the fact that it's pleated, it is a very floaty fabric and it has beautiful detailing which could be really flattering. The other two options are more relaxed than the knife pleats. So have a play, put the waist band lower down towards the hips and see how it works. Try it with a heeled ankle boot and a knit which doesn't come down too low over the hips. Have a swish and a sway in it and do let me know how you get on! 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Air & Grace Flutter Trainers with a new (ish) style skirt to ponder

After the pop up at home last week, I treated myself to a pair of the Air & Grace flutter trainers (£149). As I think I've mentioned before, I've worn holes in my Adidas Superstars and I feel a bit scruffy in them now, especially when I'm working. But I do need comfortable flats for the days that I'm personal styling for five or six hours at a time.

The great thing about this new style is that Claire has designed them to be neater around the ankle, with less padding than her other styles of trainers - which I also love. In fact I can't wait for next years' Spring collection - but that's another story.  Anyway, back to the flutter trainers - they are a little bit more like a cross between a trainer and a shoe and I have to say, since buying them, I've hardly taken them off. I'm wearing the pink leather but they also come in navy metallic leather, white leather and I think that the grey ones are due to arrive soon.

As well as the trainers that I'm wearing, I wanted to mention the style of skirt that I'm wearing too, which seems to be gaining in popularity. Mine is a couple of years old now and is from Zara but there's this M&S checked skirt (£39.50) which ticks the "front split pencil skirt" and the "checked" boxes at the same time. 

Skirts in my view can be funny old things. For a start they require a top to go with them and said top has to really work to keep the proportions right - unlike with jeans or plainish trousers where it is possible to wing it a bit more. Also a skirt and a top can feel a bit too much like an "outfit" at times - so there's the danger of feeling overdressed. And finding a great style skirt can also be tricky. Dark pencil skirts can be quite work like, pleated skirts I love but they're not for everyone, A-line skirts can be a little bit blah at times. But that's just my view on them! 

This style though I really like. Maybe it's because we haven't seen a lot of them for a while and they feel quite new and fresh and they don't have any kind of connotations associated with them - school/work etc. I love the colour of this M&S  cobalt blue pencil skirt (£35). It also comes in a cream colour (described as neutral on the site) which is reminiscent of Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral. 

And then there's this front split patch pocket skirt in olive from M&S (£39.50) which also comes in black. 

Or for those who like something really bright, there's the tailored column pencil skirt in pink from ASOS (£30).

When it comes to a top, as well as a blouse working well, think slogan T, denim shirt, fitted cashmere knit or oversized cream roll neck fisherman's jumper. They all work. Oh and below is a picture which Claire took at the pop up last week of her shoes on our table. How honoured! (Me, not Claire. Our table is only made of old scaffold boards!)

And here's a final shot of the flutter trainers in all their gorgeous, comfortable, glory! The memory foam sole is just heaven to walk on and there's a slight angle in the sole so that they're not completely flat. Perfect if you have a slightly dodgy back!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Mustard, ochre, yellow or custard - my favourite picks from the High Street

It's the pink front door but not as we know it! 

Can you believe that I just spent an hour drafting this post and lost the entire thing? Argggh. So, luckily for you, this is the abridged version. 

You know how I mentioned that red was "THE COLOUR" of the season only a day or so ago? Well yellow, ochre, mustard....whatever you want to call it, is having a moment too. It's great with navy, black or grey, giving that lift to an otherwise dark winter outfit. 

I love this layered midi dress from Topshop  (£115) and I keep going to look at it every time I'm in there. True, it would require a not inconsiderable amount of tape to keep everything in place but it's lovely - and a little different too. 

There "may" be one of these M&S gold pleated skirts (£35) waiting for me to collect from my local store but I doubt that it will look anywhere near as good on me as it does on my friend Maryam, above. Never mind, there's always the navy option.  I prefer the idea of a cream jumper as Maryam's wearing, or a black turtle neck with the gold skirt, rather than the mustard top as above but you know, horses for courses and all that.

The silk satin batwing top Jigsaw (£85) is a beaut of a top. Jigsaw release this style every season and it's just such a brilliant top that it deserves a post of its own. The neck is low enough for those with a curvy bust, it's flattering over the tummy, it doesn't add bulk and it's a modern shape.

This Zara wool cardigan (£39.99) probably falls into the category of a more "traditional" yellow cardigan, as in the yellow of an egg yolk, or the sun, or a daffodil. Chunky cardis are such a staple in a winter wardrobe that a bright yellow one is really refreshing. 

For those who don't like the idea of yellow in their torso, then accessories are a fantastic option instead and this Zara tote bag (£39.99) ticks the ladylike box and the circular handle box in one. 

And whilst these M&S kitten sling back court shoes (£29.50) don't actually comply with the yellow/ochre/mustard brief, they are totally gorgeous and in fairness, someone does describe them as mustard in a review. But issues of yellow aside, velvet is soft so great for your bunions, the kitten heel means that they don't hurt the balls of your feet too much and the glitter heels are, well, glittery. And therefore they deserve to be included.

So whether it's mustard, ochre, yellow, or custard, give it a whirl because it's a great way to give your winter wardrobe a lift. I've not really been there before on the mustard front but I can feel a mustard purchase coming on - aside from the pleated skirt that its. That's gold so it doesn't count. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

I know the, really, I do! Sparkles galore!

No. Really, I do know the Queen. Or at least I know two people who look very much like the Queen. My Mum and her sister that is. Only the other day someone kept looking at my Mum in the Post Office queue and finally they asked her if she was the Queen. Obviously the Queen often queues in Breaston post office. And when my Aunt responds that she's not the Queen, people ask her if she's sure.

But anyway, yet again I have digressed because for those who haven't come across  I Know The Queen it first started in 2012. It is a luxury accessories brand with "an eye for experimental designs and fun".  In fact as they say on their site "the more ridiculous the idea the more we love it."

Amongst the many lovely things that they sell (more about those below) is the Gold lightening bolt glitter sticker £7, which I stuck onto an LK Bennett floral print bag that I bought from Bicester last week. In fact, if you look closely, I think that I put it on upside down - which I figured was highly likely as I was doing it. Sometimes being left handed makes me see things differently.  But I've switched it round now so all is well. Stickers are a great way of personalising new things, or giving a new lease of life to older pieces. And lightening bolts - well they're just taking over the world right now aren't they? 

Here are some of the fabulous glitter bags that they make at I know the Queen....

This shark glitter bag (£69) has to be one of the best bags I've ever seen. You've got to love a bit of jaws! I remember watching it for the first time. In fact who doesn't remember watching Jaws for the first time?

Or how about a personalised cross body glitter bag (£69). Would this not make the best gift ever - possibly to yourself?

Or how about the stars cross body glitter bag (£69)? This is an absolute beaut! I love the size of it, the sparkle, the stars - everything is just spot on.

Gold lightening bolt glitter sticker £7 (not quite right but it's all sorted now)

The full range of stickers includes letter, stars, red lips, hearts, hashtags and dollar signs and you can find them all here. 

There are some fab pieces on the I know the Queen website so if you've got a few minutes and if you're into sparkles, this could be a good place to spend those minutes.