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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Rose's Christmas Gift Guide #1

This Rose loves an occasion.  And we are getting to the most wonderful time of the year.  Yes dear readers, its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

As we are officially in the first Sunday of Advent, I have been baking my Delia Christmas Cake and playing my new Michael Buble Christmas Album and praying for White Christmas to come on the telly. 

And so I begin Rose’s Christmas Gift Guide # 1

I often find the mistake some people make with choosing Christmas presents is to buy ladies sparkly tops, jewels and frocks.  The problem is, that once December 25 comes round and you actually open the presents, all of the Christmas Parties have happened, you’ve eaten your own weight in canap├ęs, drunk enough Prossecco to rot your liver and worn your sparkly cardigans all over the country.  You’ve already got your outfit sorted for Christmas Day, hope for a nice jumper from Santa for a boxing day walk and when 3 people give you sparkly strappy shoes, 2 some pairs of shoulder length diamante earrings and 1 a pot of glitter mascara - it feels a bit, well, wrong.   By this stage of the festive season you are planning to hibernate as soon as the fun is over, live on vegetable soup, take long walks and get early nights in order to restore your dulling complexion and reduce your expanding middle tire.

Some of the gifts below will be loved all year round, no diamante clutch bags will be found here!  (Note for mum who will ring up this evening and say 'Lovely post darling, but you didn't say where to buy things which is odd.': the blue writing in bold will take you to the page where you can buy the product...she isn't the most internet savvy but she tries!) 

Clarins Moisure Rich Body Lotion £29 

Not the sort of money most women would spend on their body lotion which is why this superior product makes a great Christmas present.  It smells gorgeous, is creamy and rich but sinks in by the time you’ve got your pyjamas on. 

Soap and Glory body scrub   £8

Perfect for brightening up skin and giving those mini sausages on your hips turning into cellulite a good scrub.  Most Soap and Glory stuff is excellent quality and well priced. 

Babyliss Big Hair Spinning Brush 

This will make any woman with mid length to long length hair have locks as perfectly coiffed as K Middy 

Sausage Dog Mugs £14

Berry red is one of my fave catalogues to pop through the front door.  It has loads of cute vintage style gifts and stuff for the home.  How adorable are these mugs? 

Owl earrings from Hobbs £26

Owls are very de rigeur and these tiny owl earrings are gorgeous in real life and great fun

Oversized Carriage Clock – price varies but about £120

Oh I’ve had my eye on this lovely clock for ages – I first saw it in a lovely shop in Muswell Hill and half thought about asking for it for my 30th, then I saw it in a shop in Jesmond, Newcastle near Izzy’s house.  Both times I looked longingly at it but decided to wait till we have bought a new home before I start furnishing it – just in case I jinx it.  But for anyone you need a statement piece for who loves interiors, this elegant clock would be great.  It is an oversized carriage clock style, would look great on a mantle piece as it is about 40cm high. 

Anything from Liz Earle

I started using this award winning skin care range in September and noticed a difference to my skin immediately.  It is marvellous.  The cleanse and polish set means my skin has felt and looked better than it has in years and year.  The superskin oil smells gorgeous and it makes my skin glow and makes it look like I’ve had a night on the lentils and evian rather than fizz and ‘napes.  Anything you buy from here will be well received I think – so have a look at their Christmas Gift Guide

Mitchell and Peach luxury hand cream

I was first introduced to this brand when staying at the lovely Coworth Park.  It is a great small English brand.  It smells divine, is beautifully packaged and would make a wonderful hostess gift. 

So there we have it.  In the next week or so I'll post the guide for chaps but quite frankly they are difficult buggers to get stuff for so I need to have a bit of a think about it.

Ciao for now and happy shopping.

Rose x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Christmas Cake Kit in a Box

The modern world really is marvellous isn't it?  All manner of wonderful things have been invented to make our day to day lives easier with more time for constructive things such as knitting hats for the homeless, curing AIDS and solving the Euro Crisis*

I have an app on my iPhone which even tells me when the next bus is coming!  Imagine!  If you had told my 12 year old self this would be possible I would never have believed you. 

Now Waitrose have just won my heart again with this fabulous little idea.  It is a box.  In it contains everything you need to make a Christmas Cake from Delia Smith herself.  She has carefully soaked all of the fruit in brandy.  Carefully weighed out all of the flour.  Carefully chopped all of the nuts.  And put it all in a lovely box ready for you to bake - the only thing I have to add myself is butter, eggs and lemon zest.  Oh, and half of Mr Rose's Brandy Collection. 

Photo from The Guardian who wrote about it here


I'm going to have a go at making it this weekend.  Then I believe it sits in a tin for ages and every now and again I pour on more of Mr Rose's brandy.  Then just before Christmas I'm going to cover it in marzipan and white icing and decorate it with Polar Bears and aqua ribbon and silver balls.  Photos to follow! 

Rose x

*Slobbing out watching Made in Chelsea in your jimjams.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Yoghurt Fairy

Romance comes in many shapes and forms.  It is hard to imagine how a low fat dairy product, advertised by an ex-eastender and sold at every supermarket is the subject of the most romantic part of my day. 

Mr Rose and I have been together for so long now that if he was to do anything conventionally romantic I'd raise and eyebrow and ask who he was having an affair with. 

As someone blessed with a bottom the size of China, I am always on various different diets.  One thing that I've always heard is that a low fat yoghurt for breakfast is acceptable on them all!  Low GI, Weight Watchers, Dukan etc etc.  So I once told Mr Rose I'd always start the day with one.  Mr Rose stored this information in his brain, and now for years has left a yoghurt in my handbag for me to take to work every morning.  It doesn't matter if he gets up and leaves for work hours before me, when I look in my handbag ready to leave the house - there is a little activia put there by magic by The Yoghurt Fairy.

I just can't tell you how adorable I find this. 
Slushy blog post now over.
Rose x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A Vicitm of Crime

A few weeks ago Mr Rose and I had a shed load of stuff nicked from our garage.  Amongst the casualties was my World Famous Nail Varnish Collection.  I must have had 40 bottles in there, carefully built up over years and years of nail varnish obsession.  I had pink, blue, nude, red, purple, glitter, subtle shades, slaggy shades, trendy shades and classic shades.  And some git took the lot.  TRAUMA!! 

The police were very helpful, but looked slightly disbelieving that anyone could need so much nail varnish.  It is a good point. As Mr Rose pointed out, one only has 10 fingers and 10 toes.  However, I have always found that a nice new bottle of nail varnish always cheers you up.  Even if you go for an expensive bottle, you can't spend more than £20 and you can get some great cheap ones for about £3.  It can be taken off just as easily as it is put on.  It wont make you look sallow if you experiment and the colour doesn't quite work - in the same way a lipstick would.  Everywhere sells it from Topshop to Tescos.  Having impeccable nails is a great way to look sexy, groomed, smart and classy all at once.  So it is my fail safe 'cheer me up' purchase.  Hence why I had so much of it. 


So now I find myself with only a bottle or two left.  I obviously can't buy every shade again because quite frankly, that is about £400 and you know, Christmas is coming.  And yes, I only have 10 fingers and 10 toes. 

I found myself thinking I'd replace my top few colours then gradually build up The Collection again over time.  I spent a happy tube journey to work thinking about what my top shades are that I just can't live without and I wondered also what my pals who are also nail varnish fiends thought their top colours are. 
The results were very interesting. 

OK I'm lying.  They weren't interesting because all of my fellow Nail Varnish Fanatics chose really similar things to me - we all love deep dark reds, coral for summer, a good nude / taupe and a bright slutty red.  So - with a little help from my friends - here are the best nail varnishes around. 

Deep, dark red:
Chanel's Rouge Noir  £18- the original and best deep dark red.  Two coats and it is almost black. 

Perfect Coral - looks good in summer (see @Hemmo's blog for great article about The Perfect Coral -
Barry M No 296 Nail Paint (Coral) £2.95
I also have high hopes for Chanel's 'June' out next year - photo from the amazing Lisa Eldrige's website

Taupe / Nude / Minky Grey
These are my fave every day ones.  One that goes with literally every outfit and every skin tone is OPI's Over The Taupe
Nails Inc - Basil Street (thank you @Thriftygirl for this new addition which I love!)
(Image from a great blog -
Topshop's Sketch nail polish
(I know, I'm too old to shop in TopShop - but their nail varnishes are damned good)

Bright, slutty red (keep your nails short for this one girls or it looks toooo slutty) 
max factor Max effect mini nail polish in Red Carpet Glam (photo of Cousin LL's nails)

No blog post about nails would be complete without asking you to take a look at this blog.  It needs no introduction but includes 2 of the best things in life - nail varnish and burgers.  So check out

So there we have it.  The nail varnishes I cannot live without.  I'd love to know your thoughts so leave a comment below!

Rose x

Friday, 11 November 2011

Coming of age

So tomorrow is Izzy's 21st Birthday. 

It really hardly seems possible that dad came home from the hospital 21 years ago, sat Annie and I on either knee and announced we would have to share our Barbie Dolls with someone as we had a little sister.  At the age of 9 and 6 respectively, this was about the worst way to break the news possible.  But we knew we had to smile and look pleased, hiding our inner horror at the idea we had to share our toys with yet another sister.   But over the years she has proven quite a valuable addition to the family.  When she was 2 my dear friend Katia and I fed her an entire packet of chocolate drops and then told her she had just eaten rabbit poo!  Izzy cried for about 2 hours.  Katia and I nearly died laughing.  What larks!

She grew up, after a few ugly duckling years that we all go through, into the most gorgeous swan.  Izzy is possibly the only other person I know who is as obsessed as me with make up. When she was about 16 I taught her all the eyeshadow tricks I knew and she looked at me like I had given her the secret to eternal life. A few years ago we actually spent an entire afternoon washing our hair, styling it, doing perfect make up and taking photos of ourselves.  The reason?  So that if we were brutally murdered a good photograph of us would appear on the News at Ten.  Very important to have your Crimewatch photo ready. 

I also taught her how to pose in photographs (head tilt, drop one hip, bend one knee, hand on waist) and she has taken this knowledge and used it more than I imagined, and at current count there are over 3000 photographs of her on Facebook. 

She adores our cat Coco and is potty about Sausage Dogs.  I'm sure this photo will make her go weak at the knees with longing for one of these. 

Tomorrow morning at the crack of sparrows, Mr Rose, Cousin LL, Annie, Mr Annie and I will be heading up to Newcastle where she is at Uni to celebrate with her for the weekend.  I love a road trip and am very excited about exploring a new city. 

The fact that Izzy is at Newcastle Uni speaks volumes really.  The 4 of us who came first (Annie, Cousin LL , Cousin TL and I) all did what the matriarchs advised us to do and went to Uni about 1.5 hrs from our homes ('So that I can pop in with a cake on a Wednesday afternoon if I want to', they said).  Izzy, however, had different ideas.  In true style, she stubbornly insisted Newcastle was where she wanted to go and absolutely loves it there, hundreds of miles away from any surprise visitors.  She never follows the pack.  You never know quite what she is going to do next.  She knows her own mind, and she sticks to what she wants.  Instead of falling into the shadow of her noisy big sisters, she always chooses her own path with grace and charm. 

So happy 21st Izzy!  We couldn't be more proud of you. 

Rose x

Monday, 7 November 2011

Nutty about a fruit bowl

So, a lack of posts recently - apologies dear readers!  It is a very busy time of year for us events managers.  In fact, I often refer to it as HELLvember. 

However, just a quick little blogette from me to draw your attention to this stylish fruit bowl from Anthropologie.  I originally spotted it on Liberty London Girl - one of my fave blogs. 

Photo from LLG's blog
I just think it is totally charming.  See how it looks like a farmer's fruit carton but is actually china??! Clever, huh? and only £16.   Anthropologie is an American shop which came to the UK a few years ago.  Cousin LL and I met up on a Saturday to check out their Regent Street shop and fell for it hook line and sinker.  I try to avoid shopping in Oxford / Regent Street at all costs, so am delighted it is available to buy online. 

I think one of the oddest things about Anthropologie is the pricing.  Some things are very reasonably priced and some things are extortionate.  When browsing in the shop you have no idea if the egg cup you covet will be £4 or £48.

This teapot is £228!!!!

But this gorgeous butter dish is a mere £10

It also happens to be the exact colour Mr Rose and I have in mind for our new kitchen!  Now - would you call that pistachio or mint? 

Mr Rose decided it was called Claridge's Green.  Good god, I have trained him well.

Afternoon tea at Claridge's
Rose x