Decorating Snapshots

Before I show you the finished room here are some snaps I took on my Blackberry along the way:

The chaos begins! Sorting out all the junk I have managed to amass. Moving the huge desk down into the office freed up a massive space. Once I’d decided what clothes were staying, out of season things were packed away into suitcases and dust covers to be stored on top of the wardrobe and under the bed. I packed up an ‘essentials’ bag so I had everything on hand I might need whilst the rest was packed safely away.

The amount of carrier bags and tags I found was just plain silly, why keep those?? No sane reason LOL. So I sorted out and kept all the tags with spare buttons and kept ten or so carrier bags surely enough to fulfill anyone’s needs. My empty wardrobe, a sight which still turns my stomach!

The excitement of my clothes rail arriving, ┬ú40 from Tesco Direct, bargain since it is totally sturdy and doubles my hanging space. It has extender rods at each end – these could be stabler and a rack below. The painting begins with banishing the wooden wall, it always reminded me of a coffin. Then to tackle the purple walls, four coats of paint to cover that!

I took a trip to Debenhams home department, they had some really great things I loved the ceramic pigeons and parrot lamps. I was going to get them but decided to buy online so I didn’t have to struggle home with them. When I went to order the sale had ended and the price put back up so I decided to pass on the principle of the matter.

My dresser top had become stained from make-up spillages so I wanted a tray to keep all my loose bits in,┬á I found this gorgeous dish on ebay. I like to tie ribbon around old shoe boxes to create attractive keepsake boxes – anything to hide the clutter. Aqua Mist is my new Febreeze, love the scent of this one. Sliced onions soak up the paint fumes, essential when using Gloss paint.

Finally I white-washed my pine shelves and furniture, it is a really easy thing to do. Simply water down some emulsion paint, use a brush to cover the surface, use an old rag to rub the wash into the grain of the wood, then use a dry cloth to ‘buff’ the surface to give you a smooth and streak free finish.

Being sick in the middle of decorating, isn’t the best way to get it done quickly. It must be over a month now, but I’m used to things taking me ages to do. It’s still not finished I haven’t touched up the varnish on the floor and I still need to find a bedside cabinet. But I decided it is going to have to be a work in progress! In the end I got everything I needed online (apart from the obligatory trip to buy paint). Matalan was fantastic for soft furnishings and where I found all my bedding and cushions. My rail, storage boxes and curtains came from Tesco Direct. I’m so disappointed with the curtains, I specifically bought lined ones as my last pair had let in too much light. These some how seem to amplify the light, its like sleeping in a light box. Also one of my storage boxes came with a broken lid. For all the effort it would have taken to get a new lid I didn’t bother returning them. My vintage chair, table and rugs came from ebay because I was so bored of trying to navigate impossible websites (that means you Next), things being out of stock, crazy long delivery times and not being able to find everything in the same shop. As we are sorting out the house with the aim of moving I didn’t want to splash out on anything fancy so kept everything simple. I really wanted to get some kind of shelving or something for all my shoes but thought they would be safer kept in their boxes until after we move – with the absolute essential requirement of a walk in closet! Finished photo’s to follow!

Be Cool

Wearing: Vintage Chanel blazer, River Island t-shirt – (you know that perfect, soft, nubbly material well that), New Look earrings, All Saints sunglasses from TK Maxx and my hair up in a bun fancy that!

As you all know I don’t often post in real-time. I usually have a weeks worth of post’s stacked up as I don’t always have time to post daily.┬á You also know that I have health problems, namely Rheumatoid Arthritis, but you probably don’t know I also suffer from a few other conditions. One of those is constant migraine. I didn’t have a post scheduled today, because I have used up my back-ups and seem to be sat staring vacantly at a few half done ones I can’t seem to finish. I have taken a turn for the worst last week which I haven’t recovered from yet. I’m not sure what is going on with my immune system, to quote my rheumatologist it is ‘frazzled’. Right now I am on a large dose of steroids so I am not getting so much of the usual joint pain. This feels rather odd, because I get the warning signs of a bad flare up – it feels a bit like getting the flu but without the sniffles. But then I didn’t get the curl up and die joint pain. It is a very strange sensation. Possibly because I didn’t realise how much of a bad flare up I was in, I didn’t fee too bad on Saturday so I decided to start redecorating my bedroom. I delve right in hauling out junk from under my bed and the loft cupboard. Then I start to feel itchy and sniffly. I ignore it and carry on. Then I get really itchy and tired. I look down at my arm, then my legs, then my tummy. Every part of my body is covered in hives, I look like Ive got the chicken-pox! It turns out that not only are people with auto-immune diseases prone to allergies, their bodies are also prone to overreacting to what would be minor allergies in most people. On top of that some medication can effect how the body responds to allergies. That pretty much sums up the infrequency of my posts this last week and the delay in replying to emails.

Besides the illnesses I am also considering some pretty big changes in my life right now – even bigger than redecorating my bedroom! The redecorating is a massive deal to me, it must be about five years since it was last done. But it got to breaking point where I just couldn’t cope with the clutter any more, so a huge clear out and redesign is happening. I will share with you once it’s complete, I am really excited about it. I want to be able to see all my clothes and be able to find what I am looking for! I want to display some of my beloved treasures!

Anyway, I am going off the point of this post. Which was to highlight two seemingly totally different post by two of my fellow bloggers and good friends.┬á The first is on a fun, cheerful note by Lawrence ‘Celine Sunglasses‘. I’ve never been a sunglasses person. It always seemed too much effort to carry them around if a peep of sun dare shine in gloomy Manchester. Even after trying on every single pair in my beloved Chanel I never did succumb to their allure. I had an old pair I would whip out when abroad but that was about it. Lately, however due to my increasing migraines I have become very sensitive to bright light. It doesn’t even have to be sunny, just bright, including artificial lights. So always the one to put a positive spin on things I decided the only way to deal with this is to ramp up on the fashion. Oh yes, my love of sunglasses now knows no bounds, I can’t get enough of them! I haven’t taken a trip to Chanel just yet but I have certainly been getting my designer fix. I know I am always harping on about TK Maxx but seriously if you haven’t done so already go check out their sunglasses!! Bargains galore from so many designers and brands. I will have to take some photo’s of my collection (once the decorating is done and I can find them), but Lawrence tells all in his post about our latest find. I cannot tell you how excited we were to find not just one, but a pair each of the revered Celine ‘Original’ sunglasses! Cerulean for him and ocher red for me!! Not the ┬ú250 they are in Harvey Nicks, oh no just 50 of your British pounds!

The second post I wanted to share is by Florrie ‘Speech, Expression and Migraines‘. Florrie and I became friends well before we discovered we both suffered with chronic pain conditions. Yet I believe in fate and I do wonder if the cosmos threw us together to support each other. We share tales of horrendous drug trials and can understand what a sever attack can feel like. In her post Florrie puts into words something I have never been able to. My reaction to pain is most often anger.┬á To suddenly be crippled by pain, be it migraine or RA, is indescribable. It is also very hard to communicate to someone how you are feeling when you can’t even bare to open your eyes, let alone your mouth. By now my close friends and family understand when I go quite all of a sudden. Or can seem snappy with no reason. Put simply I am in pain.

So there we have it, a pretty mixed bag of a post. I chose this photo because it shows of my current favourite sunglasses, black cat-eyes by All Saints, a bargainous ┬ú14.99 from TK Maxx. They also have tons of nice pairs on the TK Maxx website in case you hadn’t seen, I keep checking everyday – honestly I’m obsessed!

The Tale of Lianne and the YSL Bag

I heard my phone ringing but I was eating my tea (dinner if you are not a Mancunian), but it kept ringing so I though I best at least check caller ID. It was my friend Lianne so I thought I best answer in case it was an emergency. “Where the hell have you been?” Me: “Eating my tea”, “But I need you it is an emergency, a fashion emergency!!!!”

Brief Interlude: Now I had been expecting some kind of phone call, since it was the first day of Selfridges sale and I had, with nerves of steel declined to go. Lianne was determined to go after repeat visits to fondle this cerulean Yves Saint Laurent clutch. We had also been on a few trips to take a good look at these Prada wedges, you might recall seeing them in this post. As it was so close to sale season and the fact L has size 3 feet I convinced her it would be prudent to wait for them to go on sale – oh yes the irony I know, I know. Any way sale day comes and L decides she absolutely wants the cerulean YSL clutch, nay needs the cerulean YSL clutch after debating its necessity for months.

“Do you think I should get a navy or turquoise Marc Jacobs bag, you know in the same style as the black one I have?”, Me: “Erm what about the cerulean clutch?”, “I was too late they sold out, so I thought I should get one of the MJ ones instead but I can’t decide which colour.” Me: “Well is it a dark navy because it probably won’t even look any different to the black one.” L: “But the navy has gold hardwear and my black one has silver”. Me: “Ok well that makes a difference, what outfits have you found that don’t go with the silver?”. L: “Ermmm” *thinking*. Me: “Ok well how about the turquoise, what do you think you will wear that with?”. L: “Erm, well…” (At this point I should tell you L has a phobia of mixing colours, everything has to match or I think she will contract plague or something equally terrible).

So to cut this part of the story short, L can’t really think of anything she would wear a navy or turquoise bag with, beside the fact that they are both fairly summery and the summer bags she already has don’t see that much use (we live in Manchester, we have come to accept this). Whilst interrogating a sales assistant about the cerulean clutch she had asked about the Prada wedges. Last time we were checking them out they didn’t have her size in store but there was one last pair ‘on the system’ but the system wouldn’t tell us in exactly which store they were. Turns out it was maybe a mistake of the sale assistant as this time the inquiring discovered they were at the Trafford Centre (about a 45 min drive away from the city centre).

At this point L tells me this is all my fault, which in fact maybe slightly true. When we met in Egypt I most likely came across as a fairly normal person, unclad of designer trappings. Only upon getting to know me does the full extent of my obsession become clear. L was never into designer stuff until she met me, I created a monster, an addict who was it need of a hit. L: “You did this to me”. Me: “Yes, but where am I? At home, not freaking out in the sales.” L: “That’s why I need you, you give me a little now I want more…. we end up in hysterics over this for a few minutes. Me: “Ok you are only wanting a MJ bag because you are in the sales and feel the need to take home a ‘bargain’, put both bags down and leave the store. Do it, do it now. Save your money for the Prada wedges.” Finally we get L out of the store and on her way to the other one right away across town.

The next phone call I get and we find out L has the Prada, pieces of perfection, shoes and she is just having a look around, when low and behold she comes across another table of bloody MJ bags. We go over the entire pros and cons conversation again when we decide it would be worth double checking this store for the cerulean YSL clutch. She locates a sales assistant and from the muffles I guess she is going to have a look, next thing I hear is screeching down my ear, I guess she has found one. Turns out they had been put away as they were not going into sale. I don’t need to point out that this is the perfect example of when and why you should be buying something. In my experience when you have to umm and ahh over something then really you should let it go. Then when you find the things that really make you jump around and squeal for joy, you can snap them up without a doubt. Me: “Get off the phone and go pay for your bag…” duuurrrrrrr *click, end of call*

A couple of hours later I get this photo,
Pearl

City Lights & Shopping

Selfridges, Oxford St

I spent this weekend Christmas shopping and sight seeing in London. We stayed at the Palmers Lodge in Swiss Cottage, which is possibly the most hilarious place I have ever stayed. We thought it looked like it had more personality than your usual hotel and we weren’t wrong, our room must have been the servants quarters in the manor house, right up in the eaves! It was much more studenty than the website photo’s show, but it had a great atmosphere and friendly bar. The bed was like a sack of potatoes though and fun as the room was glad we were only there for one night!

On the tube

Choosing to go shopping on the first weekend in December might not have been the best time as it was crazy busy! I always for get how busy London is especially on the tube with people running up the escalators – in Manchester pushing past people on the escalators is a hanging offence.


Beautiful Chanel cruise, Sloan St

I know I will always find something beautiful in Chanel, but this time all I came out with was a map when we couldn’t find Louboutin, turns out it was just around the corner. It seems strange looking at these pretty pastel colours and floaty dresses when you are wrapped up in winter gear. I was also surprised at how mild it was in London – you Londoners are mardie about the cold it is ten times colder in Manchester, so cold even your eyes feel cold.
Mulberry bag balloons in the new store

Fendi home, Harrods

I fell in love with this Fendi lounge, this is my dream home!

Butler & Wilson


Peter Pan themed windows, Harrods

I was excited to finally get to see the Selfridges Shoe Gallery but I have to say it was a big disappointment. I was under the impression there would be full collections from many designers but there weren’t many at all, I preferred Harrods shoe department. I did find a stunning pair of Dries van Noten black clumpy heels but again not in my size. Anyway we had a great time looking around all the shops, I met with the useless service at Burberry again and resided I am really not interested in shopping there again. Miu Miu was like a fairy tale dream shop, so pretty and girly, whilst Mulberry went for wooden minimalism to set of their stunning bags.
Our last stop was to Marc Jacobs in Mayfair, I was sent on a very important mission to get wellies for my mum. Since my last visit they have opened a Marc by Marc Jacobs a few doors down, if you have never been it is a bit like an expensive Pound Shop, seriously it is one strange shop. There are many Special items (the bargainous range) mixed in with the pricey Marc items but the shop is just absolute chaos. Either way there were plenty of gorgeous things to entice.

I didn’t really buy much but what I did get was pretty amazing, Tabio ankle cuffs from Harrods – very Miu Miu I will have to show you them on, Marc Jacobs Paris t-shirt and paisley brolly, Beatrice Boyle leggings from Browns and Tom Ford lipstick I have been lusting after for months. I also bought some Christmas presents for my family.

Oh yes I realised there are some other things in that photo, particularly those brown boxes, but you know me and Louboutins there is never a simple story so I will save that for next post.

Are you enjoying the Christmas lights? How the Christmas shopping going?

Pearl
P.S Don’t forget today is the last day to enter the Fashion to Figure giveaway, the winner will be announced on that page tomorrow morning.

GIVEAWAY: Win a New Butt! With Reebok EasyTone Trainers


‘Just chillin’ on the phone with my great ass’
I have heard of these strange trainers before, MBT’s and FitFlops, some of my friends have them. In theory they sound great, comfy shoes that actually work out your muscles whilst you go about you daily business. Whats not to love? Erm the fact that they are hideous!!! I mean MBT’s logo is ‘the anti-shoes’!!! This mortally offends me!
So, I thought it was rather strange when Reebok contacted me asking if I wanted to trial their new EasyTone trainers, in fact I laughed out loud. But then I saw them and guess what? They look like regular trainers, in fact they even come in really nice colours and designs. When they followed the offer with a ‘work out kit’ I was having visions of me decked out as a gym bunny, doing a Rocky style training session / fashion montage. As part of the trial I also get to be part of their campaign, go to London and meet other trialists, and get filmed with Kelly Brook. They also specify that my feedback will not be edited, which of course is very important to me and I feel I owe it to you guys to be totally open about things. So if these trainers give me blisters or cause me a massive fashion crisis you will seriously get to know about it! Whats the point of a trial if you can’t be honest right!
Back to the real world I thought I could actually wear them to walk to work in, getting fit, saving bus fare and of course getting the heels out when I get there!
Reebok also offered to give me another set of trainers and a gym kit for a giveaway to one of my readers, so we can both have buns of steel like the advert!


WIN REEBOK EasyTone TRAINERS & TRAINING KIT
To enter:
1. You must be a follower of this blog, new followers are of course welcome.
2. You must leave a comment below including the words ‘I WANT TO WIN’ so I know who wants to be entered.
3. Sorry this one is only open to UK.
The Winner: I will put all the names in a hat and choose one winner. Please check back on the blog SUNDAY 14th March where I will announce the winner on this same post.
Prize: Reebok EasyTone trainers, gym kit (joggers, top, hoodie, bag, pedometer and more) and opportunity to take part in the trial. If you are a fellow blogger you can share your feedback on your blog too. If not I can include your comments on my blog, if you like.
The winner will be given the registration details so they can personally choose the size and design of trainers and kit on the Reebok website.
Good Luck,
Pearl
N.B Don’t worry if this competition isn’t your thing or you are not from the UK, I have a few more international giveaways to come 😉
The winner has been announced on this post:

Statement Necklaces

(Wearing Jacket and Blouse ASOS, shorts Topshop, Boots and jewellery Chanel)
I am blaming the lack of sunshine in my last few outfit post on the fact that I have the complexion of a cadaver, that and the fact that I am pretty much worn out! If anyone needed a holiday and a pot of bronzer it must be me. But hey it is March tomorrow, perhaps I will wake up to blue spring skies – I am ever the optimist!
Anyway this is my latest obsession, my statement necklace, that I wore in the last post too. Erm and yet again you can’t really see it as the photos are so dull! Surely we must get some sunshine soon! It is a smaller version of this runway piece (check out the sideburns on the glasses).
One thing I love about Chanel are the statement necklaces.


Lily Allen dresses up jeans and a sweater with her gorgeous necklace
I go through phases of buying certain things and at the moment it is jewellery, especially rings and necklaces.


Holly Fulton wearing her own designs, YSL star necklace

Next I would like to save up for a really modern piece, I just loved the star necklace by Yves St Laurent – one of those piece I just wished I had bought at the time! But I really love Holly Fultons modern pieces with their abstract designs and huge gobstopper crystals, so I might choose one of those.

Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker
What I like most about statement necklaces is that they can just transform a simple outfit into something amazing.

Olivia Palermo

But the absolute best thing about statement necklaces is that you can get them for as little as a few pounds, some of my favourite pieces are from high street shops, eBay and charity shops. You can even layer up simpler necklaces and attache brooches to necklaces for a similar effect. And nothing can cheer you up like bargain jewels!
Have a great week,
Pearl

Statement Necklaces


(Wearing Jacket and Blouse ASOS, shorts Topshop, Boots and jewellery Chanel)
I am blaming the lack of sunshine in my last few outfit post on the fact that I have the complexion of a cadaver, that and the fact that I am pretty much worn out! If anyone needed a holiday and a pot of bronzer it must be me. But hey it is March tomorrow, perhaps I will wake up to blue spring skies – I am ever the optimist!
Anyway this is my latest obsession, my statement necklace, that I wore in the last post too. Erm and yet again you can’t really see it as the photos are so dull! Surely we must get some sunshine soon! It is a smaller version of this runway piece (check out the sideburns on the glasses).
One thing I love about Chanel are the statement necklaces.






Lily Allen dresses up jeans and a sweater with her gorgeous necklace
I go through phases of buying certain things and at the moment it is jewellery, especially rings and necklaces.



Holly Fulton wearing her own designs, YSL star necklace

Next I would like to save up for a really modern piece, I just loved the star necklace by Yves St Laurent – one of those pieces I just wished I had bought at the time! But I really love Holly Fultons modern pieces with their abstract designs and huge gobstopper crystals, so I might choose one of those.


Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker
What I like most about statement necklaces is that they can just transform a simple outfit into something amazing.


Olivia Palermo



But the absolute best thing about statement necklaces is that you can get them for as little as a few pounds, some of my favourite pieces are from high street shops, eBay and charity shops. You can even layer up simpler necklaces and attache brooches to necklaces for a similar effect. And nothing can cheer you up like bargain jewels!
Have a great week,
Pearl

Hervia Bazaar Opening – New Shop, Yay!!

(Wearing: Chanel shoes and necklace, M&S trousers, Vivienne Westwood blazer with feather collar, primark top, Sonia Rykiel for H&M bandou bra) This photo was taken when I got home as you can see I am exhausted this week.

If you haven’t already heard, you’ve either had your head under a rock or perhaps are just not from Manchester! But a new boutique called Hervia Bazaar opened in Manchester’s Spring Gardens earlier this week. From the same ‘Heriva’ that brought us the Hervia Vivienne Westwood and the stand alone Anglomania, but this store will house multiple cutting edge designers! These include House of Holland, CDG, Child of the Jago, JCD Castelbajac, Hannah Martin why I am listing them when you can head over to http://www.herviabazaar.com/ and see for yourself!

The boutique front
This is what I wore to the opening party, I have totally slipped back into my all black phase! I don’t have any photos or inside gossip as I went to this event as me, to support a friend, not as a ‘blogger’. I find it really weird when my ‘me’ and my ‘me as a blogger’ worlds collide, and am not entirely comfortable with it, maybe it takes some getting used to? But having such a boutique really is a fantastic achievement for Manchester fashion so I couldn’t resist telling you about it! What I can show you are some of the publicity shots taken on the night.

Henry Holland and friend


Left: Models showing off the goods, Centre: Designers Hannah Martin & Atlanta Weller, Left: Barnzley & Joe Corre founders of Child of the Jago (and son of Viv) – so funny I just noticed as I was posting this my mum is in the background in the leo scarf! We both totally hide when photographers are on the loose.
Hope you are all having a lovely weekend,
Pearl