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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

All Kinds of Loveliness.

I've written on countless occasions about all the opportunities blogging brings. As well as making some very firm friendships within the blogosphere, I've also met and corresponded with a lot of business women, many of whom are busy mothers and all of whom have had a vision and determination to bring their product to market.

Katarina Stetz has a dual degree in chemical engineering and finance. During her maternity leave she had the idea of creating personalised skincare so she founded Ninni. The custom blend is done in a series of steps with a choice of "My Day," (anti-oxidants and CoQ10) or "My Night," (hyaluronic acid and peptides), followed by a choice of two scents (or an unscented version). I chose lemon and rosemary as a day cream and lavender and chamomile as a night cream. I have been using them for about two months now and although I'm not a beauty blogger or an expert on skincare, I can say that they are beautiful creams and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth. I love lavender in anything so I find the night cream not only smoothes my skin, but soothes my soul before bed. 


Ninni skincare

Despite having my own jewellery website, I never tire of seeing new designs. Toolally Jewellery, founded by Mags, is a brand that is based within a few miles of where I live. She wanted her jewellery designs to make a statement and they do just that. I wore mine last week with my pink kinitted Chanel-style jacket and boyfriend jeans and got numerous compliments. They're beautifully made and very lightweight and I suspect, rather addictive.


Toolally statement earrings


In the interests of equality, it seems only fair that I mention a duo of male entrepeneurs. Rene Seppeur, along with his university friend Matthias Groo, designed the Space Wallet when realising that a significant proportion of men, removed their bulky wallet from their back pocket when sitting down. These tiny wallets are little bigger than a credit card but are ideal for a night out when a card and a few notes is all that's needed. There is a small change compartment too. I have already used mine when space is a premium in a clutch bag and I will be packing it to use on holiday too. You can see just how small it is in relation to my sunglasses and ring. The wallets are made in Germany, come in a wide variety of colours and styles and international shipping is free.

Space Wallet, pearl jewellery and gold stars ring

As well as small brands, it's lovely getting the opportunity to try things from established brands too. This is the Leighton Denny Tribal Fever nail polish collection and the Must Have Mani Makeover Kit which includes a glass nail file, a buffer and a divine hand cream. The colours are richly pigmented and very vibrant and my nails remained chip-free for several days, which is most unusual for me! I love every single colour and know these will serve me throughout the summer months. 

Leighton Denny Tribal Fever nail polish

This bracelet was sent to me from the lovely team at Aspire Style from their new personalised jewellery selection. This is a rose gold friendship bracelet and I have the names of my children engraved on it, one on each side of the heart. It's so pretty and would be a beautiful gift for women of all ages. This is something that sits beautifully alongside the rest of my jewellery and I have worn it every day since it arrived.

Aspire style personalised friendship bracelet

I hope this will lead you to some new websites and to some new products, so that between us we can support small(er) businesses when we can.

Love Liz x


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The items mentioned in this blog post were given to me to review. All opinions are 100% honest and all content is my own. 
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Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Look at Ethical Fashion and a Purple Floral Dress

The ethical side of fashion is something I've been giving a lot of thought to of late, because I've just finished writing my fashion column for the August issue of Aspire which is about eco-fashion. My research made for fascinating reading and I've been looking at brands that source their materials in a sustainable, ethical and transparent way 

The fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment because so much of our clothing is composed of synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester. These artificial fibres are made from petrochemicals which themselves cause pollution. One particularly worrying by-product of nylon production is nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that has a far greater effect than carbon dioxide on global warming. I was surprised to learn that natural fibres too can be just as detrimental to the environment and astounded to discover that non-organic cotton uses more pesticide per cotton plant than almost any other crop in the world. Ongoing exposure to pesticides has been linked to illness among farmers and disruption of the eco-system as well as damage to other plants and animals. Certain dyes and chemicals used in the wool industry including those in a sheep-dip are toxic and polycotton, especially popular in bedding because of its non-crease properties is almost always treated with formaldehyde.

Eco-fashion is rather a broad term used for clothing, fabrics and accessories that have been manufactured in an environmentally conscious way with organic and recycled clothing coming under that umbrella. It's by no means a new concept, but there's perhaps an ongoing misconception that it's all tie-dye and sack cloth, or, at the other end of the scale, Stella McCartney and her vegan accessories that sometimes carry a four-figure price tag. This couldn’t be further from the truth with global brands such as Skunk Funk and Braintree producing collections that are as desirable, beautiful and stylish as the next brand. They are conscious of the provenance of the raw materials and of the ethos of the supply chain. They consider the environmental impact of distribution, so choose a ship over a plane. They retail at a price point comparable with brands with a similar aesthetic and they trade fairly. 
What more could one ask for?

Developments in technology mean environmentally friendly textiles have become a viable alternative. Here are a few, some of which are rather surprising, to look out for.

Organic textiles - grown without using harmful pesticides or genetically modified organisms.
Hemp- grows readily without pesticides. When blended with organic cotton, a soft, elastic fabric results. When blended with silk it produces a smooth, luxurious cloth which drapes beautifully.
Bamboo - a quick-growing crop that doesn’t require fertilisers or pestcicides. It is soft and comfortable and is ideal for socks, underwear and leggings.
Linen - a renewable fibre found in the flax plant which is fast and easy growing.
Tencel - the brand name for a regenerated fibre, (lyocell), made from the cellulose of eucalyptus wood and is widely accepted to be one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics because of the transparency of the supply chain. Eucalyptus trees are farmed for this purpose and are grown without irrigation or chemicals.
Wild silk - cruelty-free because the cocoons are only gathered after the moth emerges.
Crabyon - the brand name for an innovative fibre derived from chitin, (obtained from the shell of crabs and shellfish) which is combined with cellulose to create a biological, antibacterial yarn perfect for lingerie and swimwear. How oerfect that derivatives of sea-creatures go to make materials for swimwear.
Recycled polyester - an eco-fashionable way of giving plastic bottles a second chance at life. Used in a growing number of garments from dresses to fleeces to t-shirts and jackets.

Eco-friendly footwear has taken giant steps forward in terms of style and choice too. Recycled plastic bottles are formed into a microfibre, used to make faux suede footwear. Biodegradable synthetic leathers, organic cotton and hemp and recycled wood for heels, wedges and platforms combine to make statement footwear that is both sustainable and fairly traded. Glues are water-based and dyes are vegetable-based, ensuring everything biodegrades harmlessly. From head to toe, there's an eco-friendly option available.

For further research, I met with Paul Barber, the owner of From The Source in Skipton. There and online, he sells a variety of ethical clothing, accessories and gifts including eco-brands Braintree, Nomads, Mudd & Water and Skunk Funk. He stocks menswear too and because I'm fairly sure my brother doesn't read my blog, I can say here that I'm going to get him a shirt for his upcoming birthday.
This dress was from there last year. It's a trans-seasonal favourite of mine and I've shared it on several occasions on my blog.  It's by Australian brand Braintree whose strapline is "thoughtful clothing." The brand whispers rather than shouts about its ethos and I think this gentle approach is an incredibly clever way of raising awareness by being neither self-righteous nor judgmental. I think you'll agree that even though I'm indulging in a bit of tree-hugging, or at least, tree-patting myself here, the dress is as far from dippy-hippy as one could imagine.

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

Danon long dragonfly necklace

Danon Swarovski set bee charm bracelet

Braintree eco-fashion purple floral dress

If you're local to, or visiting Skipton, do call in to From The Source. It's very close to the canal basin and there's a lovely teashop, Helene's, next door, where my daughter and I had the most divine afternoon tea. Paul and his team will make you most welcome and he's very knowledgeable about clothing generally and eco-brands specifically.  


Love Liz x

Outfit details:
Purple floral dress, Braintree via From The Source, past season.
Double star ring in silver (also available in matt gold) £25 by Danon at Lizzy O
T-bar bee charm bracelet, £29.95, Danon at Lizzy O
Long dragonfly necklace, £39.95, Danon at Lizzy O
Silver sandals, Boden, previous season.

Linking with:
I Will Wear What I LikeVisible Monday/Shoe and TellBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayTop of the World StyleFresh Fashion ForumTurning Heads Tuesday/Passion for Fashion


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Friday, 24 June 2016

Pink Knitted Tweed Jacket, Pink Shoes and Statement Earrings.

You may remember the post I did quite recently in which I wore a pink knitted Chanel-inspired jacket from Winser London and in which I also introduced The Over 40 Collective. One of the reasons I chose the jacket was because I knew I'd be able to wear it again and again and in different ways. Last time was with skinny jeans and flat brogues. This time, it was with boyfriend jeans, a white broderie anglaise tee and pink heels. I do like combining smarter pieces with more casual ones and there is something about wearing these slightly battered jeans with dressy shoes that I love. 

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

Pink knitted Chanel style jacket with distressed boyfriend jeans and pink heels

I try to support small, new, emerging or local brands where possible and my earrings really couldn't be more local. They're by Toolally, a company that is based a few miles from me at Broughton Hall, Skipton. Despite the brand's youth, it is already seeing great success and was mentioned in the current (July) issue of British Vogue. These earrings are stylish, unusual, comfortable and make a statement. What more could one ask of one's jewellery? Apart from perhaps co-ordinating well with a favourite pair of shoes...

Toollaly HRH earrings


Love Liz x

Outfit details:
*Cotton knitted tweed jacket, Winser London. Sold out at the time of writing but available in pale blue at the reduced price of £79.
White broderie anglaise tee, Fat Face, past season.
Boyfit jeans, Next, past season
Double star ring in matt gold, £25, also available in silver Danon at Lizzy O.
*Earrings, HRH in blush pink, £35 Toolally
Pink shoes, Next, past season.
*Nail polish, Tribal Dance, Leighton Denny.

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Linking with:
I Will Wear What I LikeVisible Monday/Shoe and TellBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayTop of the World StyleFresh Fashion ForumTurning Heads Tuesday/Passion for Fashion

*Disclosure: my earrings were a gift from Toolally. I did not receive payment for this blog post. All opinion is 100% honest and all content is my own.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Hope Fashion Fucshia and Orange Dress

Sometimes, when the days are rather grey, a bright colour can go a long way in making one feel a little more summery. A vibrant nail colour or scarf is sometimes all that's needed to lift both the spirits and an outfit. Other times, it's nice to go beyond that and have not just a pop of colour, but a veritable explosion.
This silk dress from Hope is one of the happiest dresses I've ever seen. It has just been loaned to me to photograph for my blog, so it'll be winging it's way back rather than coming on holiday with me, but wouldn't it just be perfect for strolling to supper on a hot evening somewhere abroad? The fucshia pink and orange are such an uplifting combination and the pop-on shape makes it perfect for effortless post-beach dressing. That being said, I can think of numerous occasions that this dress would be perfect for in this country- a barbecue, a lunch date, shopping perhaps with a denim jacket or scarf if needed. 

As with all Hope clothing it is beautifully cut and I particularly love the dipped hemline. It is one those dresses that would be part of a staple holiday wardrobe year after year. The only slight negative is that it is dry clean only, but that is of course to be expected with this gorgeous Crepe de Chine silk. It does however feel so divine that I'd say it's probably worth it.

Hope clothing fucshia and orange pop-on dress

Hope clothing fucshia and orange pop-on dress

Hope clothing fucshia and orange pop-on dress

Hope clothing fucshia and orange pop-on dress

Hope clothing fucshia and orange pop-on dress

Love Liz x

Outfit details:
The silk pop-on dress,  £150, Hope Fashion
Double star ring in matt gold (also available in silver) £25 by Danon at Lizzy O
Rose gold Dragonfly pendant, £15, Lizzy O (also available in silver with a black chord).
Scarf, £12.50, Lizzy O
(sign up to my monthly newsletter in the right hand sidebar of my blog for exclusive discounts for Lizzy O).
Snake print wedge sandals, Clarks, past season.
*Nail polish, Tribal Dance, Leighton Denny.

Please follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more.

Linking with:
I Will Wear What I LikeVisible Monday/Shoe and TellBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayTop of the World StyleFresh Fashion ForumTurning Heads Tuesday/Passion for Fashion


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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Adding Colour with Summer Scarves and Accessories

I was asked the other day about my signature style and what the most important aspect of my wardrobe was, to which I answered accessories and shoes. I truly believe that both can change the entire look of an outfit in a relatively inexpensive way. I'm sure my answer comes as no surprise, after all, I have my own jewellery and accessories website and this week I've added a lot of new summer pieces. 

It was scarves that I started my little business with just over two years ago and I'm always amazed by how many women have twenty, thirty or more. I have lovely repeat customers who see scarves as being practical all year round as well as being the perfect way of adding a pop of colour or pattern around the face. It goes without saying that scarves are their most useful during autumn and winter, but I wear mine regularly throughout spring and summer. I find they are an excellent way of protecting the delicate skin on the neck and chest from the sun, they add a layer when the mornings are on the chilly side and they are also great for sitting outside in the evenings because here in the UK it is very rare indeed that we can sit al-fresco sans woollies once the barbeque is over. They act as a barrier between midges and mosquitoes and our skin and they can also be used as a small sarong or beach cover-up in hotter climes. 

Red flower scarf, Lizzy O Boutique

Dandelion scarf, Lizzy O Boutique

Dandelion scarf, Lizzy O Boutique

Scarves are also an excellent way of dipping a toe into a seasonal trend. For example, one only needs to look at Instagram to see that pineapples are everywhere. Available in beige and black and light khaki with turquoise they inject a bit of fruity fun into an outfit.

Pineapple scarf

Pineapple scarf

Pineapple scarf

These birds of paradise are lovely adding pretty colour and detail.

Bird of paradise scarf

Birds of paradise scarf

Dragonflies are among my favourite things so I couldn't resist these scarves which come in sky blue and hot pink, each with little scattered dragonflies in different colours. These dragonflies are textured, (I'm trying to think of how best to describe them, They're not embroidered, nor are they printed but they are raised from the fabric of the scarf).

Dragonfly scarf

Bright pink dragonfly scarf

And keeping with the dragonflies, these large statement pendants are a very versatile piece of jewellery and are available in rose-gold and in silver. I wore mine with my LBD last week.

Lizzy O rose gold large dragonfly pendant

Rose gold large dragonfly pendant

Large silver Dragonflypendant

These buckle wrap bracelets have proved popular in silver grey and rose-gold (I'm wearing the rose-gold one in the photograph above), so I added a versatile black to the collection. They are super sparkly and are very elegant and neat and are a lightweight way to add a lot of shine.

Black sparkly wrap bracelet with buckle

And finally, two vibrant wrap bracelet designs in turquoise and in hot pink. Fabulous on the beach and layered for festivals and parties. These both wrap round the wrist twice and fasten with a press-stud.

Turquoise diamante wrap bracelet

Bright pink wrap bracelet

The scarves and wrap bracelets are £12.50 and the pendants are £15, but for the duration of Euro 2016, I am offering a 10% discount with the code "footballwidow". All payments are facilitated by Paypal but payment is also accepted from all major credit and debit cards, but it's not very on the website though when going through the payment steps. For card payments, the option of "creating an account" or "checking out as a guest" must be selected. It will still look like it's Paypal, but all relevant card details can then be entered.
I post everything first class and almost always within two days of receipt of the order. The Lizzy O jewellery comes in an organza gift bag. The scarves come wrapped in bright pink tissue paper.
The "footballwidow" 10% discount code is also valid on my Danon jewellery range. Depending on stock levels, these items may take a little longer to be delivered because if they aren't in stock, they're ordered from Israel, where they're handcrafted.

If you're celebrating Father's Day today, have a wonderful day. My parents will be spending the afternoon with us. My dad is the man above all men and is a rock for me and my children and is the is epitome of kindness, gentleness and loyalty and we absolutely adore him. This was taken last year when he was my lunch date for a food review I did for work. I love you dad.

Peter Yeowart


Love Liz x

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Friday, 17 June 2016

Cocoon Dress with Dragonfly Pendant and Colour Block Heels

Last Friday I wrote about my day job as a writer for a local lifestyle magazine and mentioned that most months, I'm lucky enough to be invited to a pub or restaurant to review and write about a meal. Last night was one such occasion and my wonderful friend Sally and I went to The Clarendon, in the Dales village of Hebden. It is no hardship for either of us to eat the three courses we are expected to review as we are both blessed with healthy appetites, but it does mean I need to consider my outfits quite carefully. The Hope cocoon dress is one of those dresses that can be dressed up or down and is suitable all year round. I wore it more casually with flat sandals last month. It's also roomy and accommodates a hearty supper very nicely.

Black cocoon dress, rose-gold dragonfly pendant and colour block court shoes

Black cocoon dress, rose-gold dragonfly pendant and colour block court shoes

Black cocoon dress, rose-gold dragonfly pendant and colour block court shoes

Black cocoon dress, rose-gold dragonfly pendant and colour block court shoes

The rose gold dragonfly pendant is new to my online accessories boutique Lizzy O. It is also available in black and silver and costs £15. If you fancy treating yourself, use code "footballwidow" to get 10% off everything at Lizzy O for the duration of Euro 2016.

Black cocoon dress, rose-gold dragonfly pendant and colour block court shoes

Black cocoon dress, rose-gold dragonfly pendant and colour block court shoes

The rose gold wrap bracelet is also from Lizzy O and it is now available in black as well as silver-grey £12.50.

Rose gold diamante buckle wrap bracelet

And I've added to my range of scarves too. I'll be adding more over the next few days, but I couldn't wait to add this pineapple design. It's also available in beige and turquoise for this time of year especially when the evenings are still a little chilly. There are only six in each of this design so hurry because I think they'll prove popular. 

Pineapple scarf


Pineapple scarf

Kaleidoscope colour block t-bar court shoes

The Clarendon where we ate is an 18th century building, quite traditional inside but with an award-winning menu. It was easy to see why, with locally sourced game and fish being on the menu (and our chosen dishes).

The Clarendon hotel, Hebden

The Clarendon hotel, Hebden

Sally had trio of Yorkshire Dales partridge to start with.

The Clarendon Hotel, Hebden

And I had Whitby potted crab.

The Clarendon Hotel, Hebden

For my main course Sally had rabbit and I had trout and in fact the trout farmer was in the bar, so the provenance was absolutely ascertained.

Clarendon Hotel, Hebden

Clarendon Hotel, Hebden

We finished with profiteroles and creme brulee,

The Clarendon Hotel, Hebden

The Clarendon Hotel, Hebden

The food was delicious and with a very warm welcome and a vibrant but relaxed atmosphere, I would very much recommend The Clarendon if you are visiting The Yorkshire Dales.

Love Liz x

Outfit details:
*The cocoon pocket dress, £95 Hope 
Rose gold wrap bracelet, £12.50, Lizzy O
Dragonfly pendant, £15, Lizzy O
Pineapple Scarf , £12.50, Lizzy O
(sign up to my monthly newsletter in the right hand sidebar of my blog for exclusive discounts for Lizzy O).
Leopard print bag, Jaqueline Headlam.
Colour block T-bar court shoes, £60, Kaleidoscope


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Linking with:
I Will Wear What I LikeVisible Monday/Shoe and TellBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayTop of the World StyleFresh Fashion ForumTurning Heads Tuesday/Passion for Fashion

Disclosure:My dress was previously a gift from Hope and my shoes were a gift from Kaleidoscope. All opinions are 100% honest and all content is my own. I was not obliged to blog about these items nor did I receive any payment for writing this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support What Lizzy Loves. 
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