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Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

Still no job interviews, so what’s a girl to do? Well, best to get some great inspiration to keep away the out of work blues; first, one of my fabbest friends is a teacher so I told her about this fab offer from Lucky Voice – key workers get 2 free hours of singing like a cat’s chorus at this super glam karoaoke establishment – so we did and it was super fab…

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Take a look at this great cover – is he the new Elvis?

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Brush aside those frumpy fash mags and get hold of this super inspirational title, Wonderland, my top favourite magazine

And have you seen this great ad? It’s such a feel good few seconds, I think I’m going to have to dig out my old shell toes

And last but not least, spring is nearly here and that means, cherry blossom everywhere and I got these today from Graham and Green, so pretty and fluffy, they can’t help but bring a smile to my face – and don’t worry, I didn’t spend a penny, I had a £50 voucher to splurge…

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There’s a photo in The Sun today of a very frail Jade Goody in a wheelchair on with her boyfriend Jack this Sunday just gone. She’s outside the Armani store on Brompton Road and about to go in and choose her bridal gown.

It struck me that while we may walk along the same streets, we are all on different paths. For this is the very same place that Miniminx and I were standing outside of and having a laugh on Saturday. The store has a massive video wall with male models wearing the latest collection. Miniminx was pointing at it and laughing and joking about the dogwalk (her thinking; women walk on catwalks, therefore men must do dogwalks).

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As the weeks go by it’s hard not to think that Jade Goody is being subsumed by a cancer with tabloid newspapers and reality tv at the heart of it’s DNA.

I’m reading her story daily and I can’t believe it’s happening so quickly. We’ve been living in a world where there are many high profile stories of people living with cancer, and beating it; Kylie Minogue being one. It just doesn’t seem right or fair that someone so young is fading so fast.

Initially, I wasn’t sure about the story and wondered if it was just a Max Cliffordism to bring her back to the hearts of the British public with a sob story. But then again, who would engage in such a ploy to further their careers? It seemed so strange, such a bizarre quirk of fate, that the Big Brother reality TV show that launched, and then destroyed, her career would then be the place her death sentence would be announced. I wonder how the production team feel about this? How will they remember her? And will this tragedy make them think a bit more about what they are really signing up these contestants for? I doubt it, they will probably find a new way to spin it and make money.

Do you remember the Kylie effect? Women everywhere got checked for breast cancer and lives were saved, I’ve not seen any evidence of this happening with Jade Goody – although I will be making an appointment for a smear this week as I couldn’t bear to face the same fate. In true tabloid fashion, I am convinced that The Sun will sell many more copies of the paper when she goes – and she knows this, which is why she is doing the deals now. It’s extraordinary.

Jade Goody is England’s guileless icon and quite incredibly, has achieved global fame. She’s a funny girl, a business woman, Mother and soon to be wife. I’m not sure I’ll tune in to Living TV to watch her final hours, but we’ll all miss her. And let’s not forget that she’s a hard working Mum with two young children. That’s the true reality.

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Are you a label conscious, ethical, organic shopper?

If you want to know, here’s a little simple quiz for you.

1. Do you decorate your trolley with Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade and Soil Association labelled products?
a) yes always, my shopping saves the planet
b) maybe, depends who’s looking
c) never, it’s too bleeding expensive and a rip off

2. Do you make a pont of checking for the Soil Association label?
a) as a matter of course (I only buy products with it on)
b) why would I need a Soil Association label, is this the gardening centre?
c) oh god never, it’s far too pricey

If you answered yes to c) that means you’re a canny bargain hunter, yes to b) means you’re absolutely normal and yes to a) means you are a total shopping freak suffering from organorexia like me.

I spend an inordinate amount on organic produce and even though the supermarkets are pretty good, it does irk me that organic costs more but I wouldn’t trade down on many items, especially milk, meat, vegetables and eggs.

If we’re caught short of milk and I can only get non organic, standard pasteurised, I’ll pass – even if we have to have dry cereal and black tea for breakfast. And that’s why I’ve coined this malaise organorexia.

It’s by no means life threatening but it’s very inconvenient at times. And I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking, if it’s not organic, I’ll go without.

And it gets worse once you have a child – with the epidemic food scandals and health scares, organic food seems the only option. But where do you draw the line? I used a very expensive organic milk formula after breastfeeding, and I had to order it in to my local health food shop. It was a real pain, but I would never have touched any other products.

Motherhood tests your mettle when it comes to health, especially when you want to give your child treats. I’ve tried all the wholefood sugar free sweets and they rate very high on my Crank-o-meter. Carob coated raisins result in on thing for Miniminx and that’s a good few trips to the loo and no sugar buzz – which misses the whole point of scoffing a bag of sweets. The same goes for corn syrup lollies and Panda Liquorice, so I just can’t buy into it all 100%. Green & Blacks will just have to suffice but I’m not by any means going to pretend that we avoid the sweet shop on high moral grounds.

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At kids parties, I have found myself surrounded by frenzied Mums who have shunned the party bags and passed round gelatine free organic sugar free sweets ‘Oh the little pet adores them’ they say smugly (and I’ve secretly wondered if it’s the non-organic botox that gives them the smug look). While it does really annoy me sometimes, and it seems like social oneupmanship, I know they’ve got a point.

So if you’re organorexic and feeling lonely, you can always check out sites like Hippyshopper to find that you’re not alone! Please send me your top vegan and organic sites, I just can’t get enough!

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I always tell Miniminx that to get what you want, Rule Number One is to be nice and always smile – try it, it’s free and it works. And Rule Number Two; if you don’t ask, you don’t get. While I’ve since come to mildly regret passing on these wise learnings (I’ve been at the mercy of them on a daily basis ever since), I’d rather have a little charmer on my hands than a petulant pouter.

In this crazy world, it’s my firm belief that it still counts to live life by your own rule book and in times of trouble I tend to resort to what I call Freebie Alchemy. In the good old days, this would mean blagging my way into VIP areas, getting backstage passes and bagging designer clothes samples (when I was thin enought to squeeze into catwalk offcasts). Now, the parameters and priorites of my life have changed but, I still remain very committed to practising the Art of getting something for nothing.

So, here’s the thing. This week I’ve managed to get in a major haul of goodies without even going to the cash point. Not being much of an accountant, I’ve made my own little calculations and in my world, it all adds up to about £465!

It all started early this week. I’ve been awaiting the delivery of a mock crock leather drinks bar which I bought last July. I snapped it up at 30% off in the Summer sale. It’s something I’ve adored from the moment I set eyes on it a year ago, so the wait has seemed worth it as I know it will bring years of joy, admiration and tipsiness.

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I have diligently called the company weekly this year and kept my cool while the promised delivery date has continued to slip. I dutifully called the company on Monday to ask if it had been delivered to their warehouse yet but it was still ‘on it’s way’.

‘Hi, I’m calling about the delivery of my bar I bought in July’
‘Oh, let me just check’
‘Thanks’
‘It’s not in yet’
‘Hmmm, I was told it would be this week’ In despair, I gasped audibly ‘Can’t you offer me anything to say sorry? A voucher for the shop or something? It is nearly a year I’ve been waiting.’
‘Um, hang on a minute, let me check’. Ooh, I thought, there maybe a little gift on the way here.
‘Hi, are you still there?’
‘Yes I am, I’ll hold’
‘Let me just check something, thanks for your patience.’
‘Hello? Thanks for holding, I can offer you a £50 voucher – is that any good?’
‘Oh that’s so kind of you, thanks very much!’

And I got a call today to say the drinks bar is coming on Friday and even better the price has now gone up £300 since I bought it. (Value £350)

TodayI have a free luxury facial and massage which I won in Miniminx’s Christmas raffle. (Value £85)

I’m not counting the blow up sunbed session from the other day, it’s just too traumatic. (Value 0)

I am counting the free replacement gym card which they gave me without charging a fiver (I’m just too great a sideshow to not have around) (Value £5)

Now a girl’s gotta have shoes – especially with job interviews in the offing, so how about three pairs for free? Well, yesterday, after a gorgeous lunch at Dial, I wandered around Covent Garden, well that’s stretching the truth – I just made a beeline for Poste Mistress – the best shoe shop in the world – to buy my new ‘interview’ shoes.

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After a couple of hours of trying on the most magnificent shoes and boots, I left with 4 I-can’t-live-without-these pairs neatly packaged in very conspicuous bright pink bags; mock croc high heeled court shoes, knee length shiny black leather boots, green suede high heeled ankle boots and flat black suede mocassins.

The ladies in the shop were lovely, especially at the till.

‘So here they all are’
‘Oh great, thanks’ I beamed handing over my card
‘Well, the way I calculate it, with all the discounts, and I’ve given you an extra 10% off the non sale shoes’ Lucky me eh? ‘This whole lot is still £20 under the original full price of the knee length boots. So basically you’ve got three extra pairs of shoes for free!’
‘Wow’ I said, ‘That’s so clever!’
(Value £20 + three free pairs of shoes)

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Ooh la la, Valentine’s Day gets us all hot under the collar and seemingly minxy on the blogs but it’s got me in trouble with a big T.

I very innocently signed up for Web Mums – a very well profiled ning site for Mums who want to work from home – WOWEE! I was accepted to join and as promised, I jumped straight in. Heading straight to the blogger network, I could not help but put my url in, but I was soon accosted by a lingerie seller. Checking out the blog I found they were advertising none other than MAN BRAs – I kid you not, MAN BRAs. So having been accosted, I could not help myself and we had quite a conversation, as follows, remember this flows upwards so don’t read down:

15 Comments

Comment by nixdminx 42 minutes ago
I’ve just texted my boyfriend to ask if he would like a man bra for valentine’s day – I consider myself chucked already!

Comment by Janey 43 minutes ago
I don’t think people would bother to scroll down. You see the horrible picture of mens bras and then go and look at another web site

Comment by nixdminx 43 minutes ago
thanks, please let me know when you stock the lake and stars, nice to meet you

Comment by Lingerie Lady 44 minutes ago
it is OK. There are lot of lingerie sellers out there
And we are all good . Some really spend a lot of effort to be the best. Lingerie is like your stylist. You get use to it
I have a lot of customers from WebMums and they are all happy
Good luck in your blog

Comment by nixdminx 53 minutes ago
I think I’ll stick to figleaves…

Comment by Lingerie lady 54 minutes ago
no honey, i you scroll down or read the archive
YOu ind me posted latest news
Advertising worse product which u dnt sell will let the people have curiosity to see what you sell
it is not advertising your product as I did not refer to my site in it
You have to have the good and the bad news

Comment by nixdminx 1 hour ago
oh I see, but you should not market yourself on the worst item, what is the best selling item, then I might be interested…if you are looking for the Delia effect on cooking you don’t sell meat past it’s sell by date – tell me, what is Angelina Jolie wearing in her latest film or what did Kate Winslet wear to get her Oscar nomination??

Comment by Lingerie lady 1 hour ago
dnt buy it
we are just announcing the latest lingerie news
we do not sell
The only items we sell in the blog is the one with hyperlink to the items
blog can be or advertising, can be for the latest product news, celebrity product news and so on.. to flavour it up

Comment by nixdminx 1 hour ago
So why would I buy it?

Comment by Lingerie lady 1 hour ago
It is not for valentine, anyhow it has been voted the worse lingerie or 200 and I agree 100%

Comment by nixdminx 1 hour ago
are you for real? why would I buy my boyfriend a bra for Valentine’s Day?

Comment by Lingerie lady 1 hour ago
One of our Designer Lingerie Blog http://jasdesignerlingerieworld.blogspot.com/

So following this little dalliance, which left me very cold under the collar, I texted my boyfriend to test drive this Man Bra phenomenon –

Q If you had underwear for Valentine’s Day, how would you feel?
A Depends what it looked like
Q A man bra?
A Ok weird
Q Your are kidding! You mean you would accept one or it’s just plain weird?
A I don’t have boobs
Q So are you still speaking to me??
A Why are you being weird?

Ho hum…

all names have been changed…

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If you’re one of those people who has guffawed at Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop.com lifestyle blog but has secretly spent hours hunting around it, I’ll bet you’ve read this week’s perfect guide to Sunday cooking. Let me take you away from the sublime life of a Hollywood A-lister – complete with dark turkey meat-meatballs and spaghetti – to the ridiculous life of the Nixdminx and my Sunday lunch Kitchen Nightmare…

I’m always waxing lyrical about cooking and it’s never a hassle to have people over for a meal – it’s such a nice way to relax. And so, I was looking forward to catering for my closest friends tomorrow until yesterday, when I sent a round robin text to confirm my guests and was agog at the dietary requirements that came back in big capital letters; no beef or pork from one camp, vegetarian from another, no fish or potatoes from another and of course, there’s little old me; no wheat, no orange. And that’s without even having to coax the under 4s into eating anything resembling a vegetable.

Damn and blast, there goes my own special meat chilli for the grown ups and spag bol for the kids…it was the perfect solution, I’ve already made a base sauce which I blend for the kids to hide all the veg (onions, mushrooms, roasted peppers, tomatoes) and just add kidney beans and the hot spicy stuff for oldies. So I could have casually cooked the rice and spaghetti et voila…

On to Plan B. I perked myself up with a Caffe Nero latte (the strongest legal variety available on the high street) and was hyperventilating outside Sainsbury’s, hastily scribbling my shopping list. Sod it, I thought, I’ll just cater for the whole lot of those pesky blighters.

iPods are great for shopping and I danced around the aisles in a complete Bee Gees funk. £200 later and I’ve bought a rack of lamb, nut cutlets, salmon steaks – I even found wheat free Yorkshire puds – and will be on the hunt for some chicken today. I completely forgot to buy any vegetables but we’ve got loads and loads of juice, hundreds of real juice ice pops, plenty of exotic stinky cheese and lots of wine.

I’ll definitely be playing Happy Families tomorrow as it will be a case of match-the-face-to-the-dish, which will be quite a challenge after quaffing a Bloody Mary or two (the only way to cook on Sunday!).

Bye, I’m off to marinade everything, make the Bloody Mary Mix and hope and work out the complex cooking schedule.

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So now it’s finally the school holidays, and boy has it been a long time coming, we decided to go to the cinema in Shepherds Bush yesterday -how long will Vue keep going with 14 Screens opening across the road at the new Westfield? After watching all the trailers online – Bedtime Stories, Devereaux, The Ink something or other and probably a few more, we went to see Four Christmases which Miniminx loved (some of the more adult jokes were way beyond her but the gross out stuff certainly wasn’t). The trailer is laugh out loud funny and for once there are still more gags in the movie which is my usual pet peeve with comedy ie. you know all the jokes before you even peck at your first bite of popcorn.

Westfield – the carbuncle on the side of the A40 that has gradually taken shape over the last few years with new bus garages and tube to accommodate shoppers – is open after a long wait, and at the height of the credit crunch, most shops have opened with huge price cuts.

Oh my god! It’s amazing – plus they have Wagamama, so lunch was sorted – also very American and it seems much bigger than the Westfield in San Francisco. Apart from being overheated and over lit – why do we get told to buy energy saving light bulbs when shopping centres blaze light 24-7? Miniminx asked for pocket money to buy me a Christmas present so I gave her £10 and she asked the lady behind the desk at Tiffany & Co what that would buy here – prices start at £40 she was told, much to her dismay!

We mooched around Miu Miu, Prada, DKNY – nothing very inspiring and no sale on in the big labels yet. There is a Zara Home so we had a good look around – it’s changed in the last two years, it’s no longer a cornucopia of exotic items, it’s trying to take on the blandness of The White Company and it’s more expensive – I bought a faux fur white bedspread at The White Company for £90, while Zara Home had throws starting at around £129-£179 – that brand can’t command that price so I’d expect to see huge price drops in the sale.

I should have taken photos – the kids have little W12 Black Taxi buggies to help them around the shops – great idea. Lots of very modern comfy public seating – it was all full though.

I’ll definitely go back, it’s a complete change of scene and quite refreshing – not sure if my love affair with Selfridges will continue – but Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge lends an air of mythology to the place which I don’t think Westfield will ever have. We will see how that compares when we visit on Tuesday – in the meantime, I have to try and book a visit with Santa at the Selfridges Grotto.

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