So earlier this month I attended London Book Fair. The fair is an annual event and is designed for publishers and publishing related individuals to engage in trade agreements and ‘talk shop’.

There are a number of talks and seminars throughout the days it is on and this year it covered three days in mid March.

I received a free ticket to the event through www.bookmachine.org which is an online networking platform for people in the publishing industry. I travelled down to London on all three days to attend as there were a number of talks I was interested in hearing about.

My general overall experience was very positive. I learnt a lot and discovered some new authors which is fantastic. The show is unfortunately more geared towards industry professionals however and I get the impression that if you are not part of this throng it’s difficult to ‘fit in’ however it is still well worth a visit just for the experience and talks.

The talks and seminars were of a very high quality although I was disappointed to note that if you were not there at least 15 minutes before you were unlikely to get a seat or even in the room especially on the more popular courses / talks. A lot of them clashed also which I suppose can’t be helped due to time constraints although I feel this could have been planned a bit better as there seemed to be many clashing talks.

The building itself is incredibly large and difficult to navigate and I found some time was wasted trying to get from place to place as a complicated map was necessary due to the sheer vastness of the place. In addition the food in the venue was incredibly overpriced and so I preferred to bring my own after the first day!

In respect of the talks and seminars I attended quite a few including ‘Connecting Readers to Content and Keeping Their Interest’, ‘How to Write for Film’, ‘Spotlight: America’, ‘How to Achieve Success in a Career in Publishing’, ‘There is No Such Thing as the Reader’, ‘The Creative Writing Process’ and quite a few more.

Each day I attended I also received lots of free literature including copies of The Bookseller, an industry magazine for publishing specialists, the New York Review of Books and some free books too! I picked up many publisher’s catalogues which detail the latest titles they have published; obviously for ideas on what to read next. Many of the publishers I couldn’t see were there to sell any of their published books as it isn’t really the point of the fair but I did buy one book on photography which was allowed.

Comedian Ruby Wax was in attendance also as she is raising awareness of her new initiative ‘Frazzled Cafes’ which is in association with Marks and Spencer. The high street retailer will be hosting cafes to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide a space for those who suffer with mental health issues or just want a quiet space to gather. I grabbed a copy of her new book ‘A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’ for a small donation and she signed it and posed for photos with me. She is a great advocate for this kind of thing as she has been a mental health campaigner for a long time and also holds a Masters Degree in mind based cognitive therapy. She, like many of us at one time, has also suffered with her mental health and I highly recommend her book. I’ll write a full review soon! See the link below for Marks and Spencer’s press release on the initiative.

https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/media/press-releases/2017/ruby-waxs-frazzled-cafe-to-launch-in-stores

Did you go to LBF2017 and what were your experiences?

 

If you’re a man concerned with style, or even have a partner concerned for you, and you haven’t heard of Kurtis Paul now is the time to take note and climb out from under your rock.

Kurtis Paul was founded in 2015 by brothers Lloyd and Kurtis Rayner. Their brainchild Kurtis Paul was born after both brothers noticed a gap in the market when the bags they bought, for their work travels, constantly broke. It is usually the case that you are either buying for the label and paying the price or buying a cheaper high street imitation which lacks quality therefore Lloyd and Kurtis developed a range of high quality bags for men.

The main collection includes a range of leather bags and accessories. As shown in the photos, the accessories include a wash bag, pencil case and laptop sleeve. These are popular office accessories for the working man or woman as the reviews on their website are anything to go back. In the modern new Garconne age  (check out the below link for a great book on this) it is entirely acceptable to blur the boundaries between the male and female market in fashion. These accessories are the perfect way to stay stylish and not break the bank. The accessories and bags are made from cow’s grain hide and finished with brass fixtures.

Today I focus on the new range of canvas backpacks that have launched. There are three designs all of which come in two colours; desert sand cream and overcast grey.

The Columbus, a fantastic versatile backpack, is named after Christopher Columbus as it embodies the travelling adventurer. The fabric is a thick 20 oz canvas creating durability and the leather straps have magnetic studs for easier accessibility. The bag opens to a drawstring opening and, finally, the neatest features are the elastic fasteners which are attached to each shoulder strap to solve the problem of dangling adjustment straps.

The Arnold, named after Terminator actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is designed for the active man. The main feature is the 20 oz canvas and leather straps. Other features include the detachable straps and side pocket for convenience. This bag is a bag of few pockets; something I feel we could all use at times. I know I am constantly rooting through various pockets in my bags.

The Donald is the newest addition to the collection and has launched in the last few days! A great beach bag with the same quality you will have come to expect from the other bags.This was is named after Scottish poet George MacDonald, who wrote fantasy literature. He advocated the notion that sometimes we need ‘down time’ and this stylish contemporary bag is perfect for all your loose beach essentials.

Finally, what is particularly neat is the colour names; overcast grey and desert sand cream. They evoke images of the military or what I can describe as dark ‘grittiness’ which reflects the hard wearing durability of these excellent quality products.

Check them out now!

www.kurtispaul.com

www.twitter.com/kurtispaul_kp

www.instagram.com/kurtis_paul/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/New-Garconne-How-Be-Modern-Gentlewoman/1780678584

“We’re not selling fashion, we’re selling status. Invest in yourself” Kurtis Paul

Note – I have not been financially compensated or provided with any other compensation for writing this.

 

In my constant fervent attempts at bettering myself and basically because I love to be busy I constantly throw myself in to new and hopefully exciting projects.

This is just a bit of a ramble on what I am getting up to and what I have been doing.

I recently became social media editor at a fantastic brand called Ann-Celeste London. I met the creative director Celeste at a networking event and it started a few weeks later. It has been really interesting to see what the brand is about and hope to do a good job here. The brand was recently featured in Vogue also which is a massive honour for Celeste so early on. I may harp on about it for a while so best take a look at the brand now to save your ears!

I have also started contributing regularly to two new digital platforms. Be Your Own is an online publishing platform which is designed to inspire and guide women. The new site launches really soon and i’m writing furiously as I type here! Last Weekend is an online magazine which has again recently launched and covers festival news. All of the above are ways in which I can build upon my writing skills whilst doing something I love.

I have also written some guest posts for other blogs and some review posts which will be coming soon. I have reviewed some great books kindly sent to me by Carlton Books which I feature shortly together with some reviews of my own books.

Last week saw me at London Book Fair which is an annual trade show. This was a new experience for me, having spent years in the legal world, and I loved it. I came away with so much – tips, experiences, books, advice, magazines…a photo of Ruby Wax. I will be writing about that shortly too. Check out my Instagram which has loads of photos from the three days I was there (@snappablemusings).

In respect of events and networking I am always on the look out and always hoping to attend or be lucky enough to be invited; and now hopefully get Ann-Celeste an invite! I will be attending the Fashion Show MK SS17 organised by GM events. This is an opportunity for independent fashion designers to showcase their work and I am really looking forward to the same.

Other events I will be heading to this year are the House of Garrard Diamonds event in May which is a bridal fashion event, Be Your Own Magazine’s launch party in December, The London Accessories Show in July, The Homebuilding and Renovating Show next week (as I love interior design and am hoping to redecorate soon!) and hopefully a few others in the pipeline.

I also went to some pop up style vintage events recently where you can grab as many vintage clothes and accessories as you like and pay £15.00 per kilo. Many a vintage item was picked out by me and again I will shortly be showcasing what I bought.

I’ll update you again soon!

 

As Mother’s Day is around the corner I have rounded up a selection of gift ideas which I think are fun and pretty for your mums on this celebratory day.

  1. The Smile Parcel

This one is a fun one as it’s a monthly subscription box which is perfect as it contains a variety of gifts to make you smile. It is close to my heart as the idea behind it is to make someone smile, especially if they have been feeling down or suffer from mental health issues (which I have struggled with).

The contents, where possible, will be from small independent businesses and craftspeople so you can be sure that you will receive some well thought out lovely gifts for mum! You will not know what is in the box until it is received which I think is also fun.

Check out the website www.thesmileparcel.co.uk for more information on these boxes and the different subscription offers. The parcels are £18.00 for a one off parcel.

2. Comtoise Wall Clock in Decorated Tinplate by Studio JOB for Alessi

Alessi is a company who sell beautiful italian designed gifts. They sell a range of kitchenware, homeware and jewellery. I picked out this beautiful clock which is described as being a mixture of industrial and applied arts. I like the colour and the design but it’s so different. It also reminds me of Beauty and the Beast somehow which is particularly relevant at the moment! Check out www.alessi.com for this amazing clock priced at £65.00.

3. Alessi Circus Collection Jars in Glass with Hermetic Lid in Tinplate by Marcel Wanders for Alessi

Again I chose these just because of the cute theme! There are four different sizes and have a look at the site for the different ones but the prices start from £25.00. They are made from silk-screen glass and tin and think they would add a really pretty vintage theme to any kitchen.

4. Cactus Photo Frame in 18/10 Stainless Steel Mirror polished by LPWK and Marta Sansoni for Alessi

This pretty frame is designed by two women who have aptitudes for design, one being an architect and the other being a former meta-designer. By their very careers they seek to form structure and aesthetic focused on redefining a system. I think this has been achieved here in the frame made with laser-cut steel. Check out the site for this one priced at £85.00.

5. Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask, Super Facialist Prebiotic Micellar Cleansing Water and Opal London Eyezone Massager

There are lastly three little ones I wanted to throw in as everyone loves a beauty gift or three. I actually bought these from TKMaxx but Good Things and Una Brennan products can be purchased in Boots or Una Brennan products can also be purchased from http://superfacialist.co.uk/

The face mask has clay in which draws out impurities in the skin whilst the manuka honey provides the moisture. I liked the fact that these do not contain the nasties such as parabens, mineral oils or sodium laureth sulphate.

The micellar water is great as an all round gentle cleanser which can be used like my all time favourite Bioderma but slightly cheaper!

Finally, there is the eyezone massager which can be purchased from Amazon or www.findmeagift.co.uk although again I purchased this from TKMaxx. It is a battery operated eye massager which straps around the head like an eye mask and is flicked on by a switch at the bottom. The vibrations seek to massage and tone the delicate eye area. It was only £6.99 from TKMaxx.

Hope you like these!

Note – the photos of Alessi products and The Smile Box are copyrighted to the same and I have not been provided with these products or any payment for mentioning them. I have agreed to mention the same as I liked them.

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Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to this fantastic event which showcased some fantastic young international /British designers.

The night consisted of general networking between bloggers, editors, designers and other people associated with the fashion and beauty industry.

The photos speak for themselves however notably I was impressed by TwentyFourFashion. I was intrigued by the simple clean cut designs of the ‘power suits’ on display. The designer behind the collection, Lucy Manna, told me that she wanted to create pieces that reflected the individualism of each woman. They certainly do that as they are designed in such a way so that each woman can style them how she wants. I would describe them as minimalist as they were simple in such a classy way. The pink suit is made of woven silk! ( I thought it was linen)! You can purchase these and other pieces from TwentyFour Fashion from ASOS marketplace, Silk Fred and their website. The dress that Lucy wears in the slideshow photos is the Haile dress.

The link to Silk Fred is as follows: http://www.silkfred.com/boutiques/twentyfour-fashion and shop the collection at www.twentyfourfashion.co.uk.

I also got around to talking to the designer of the amazing Morphe London jewellery collection. Dimitra designs her pieces based on shapes and forms and the themes include Bones, Shells and the Soul. Her experience as an architect have helped her create beautifully crafted pieces which I was surprised to hear are designed with a 3D printer! They are made from bronze or gold plated steel. There was also some sterling silver pieces.Shop her collection at www.morphelondon.com.

Fashion brand Ann-Celeste was there also. I was intrigued and delighted to be introduced to her Mope collection containing pieces designed with an African edge. She delighted the audience by relaying how she had come to design the pieces because she was constantly getting chased down the street by women desperate to know where she had purchased her outfits from. Of course this was before the Ann-Celeste brand was created but Celeste realised that her contemporary and instinctive sense of style would come in useful in her new venture. Find her on Instagram @anncelestelondon and ann-celeste.com.

Luxury scarf designer IA London showcased their amazing silk scarves which can be found at www.IALondon.com. The scarves show off a unique colourful aesthetic. They reminded me of avant-garde or art deco type pieces and were very  brightly coloured on dark backgrounds so as not to distract from the brightness of the main colours.

Lastly I had the pleasure of meeting young model Cerys Wrigley-Moss who was modelling one of Ann-Celeste’s designs. Cerys has been a model for a few years and is managed by her mother Karen. She is a high fashion and runway model and has modelled for ASOS, Zibi London amongst a few and was also featured on the catwalk for London Fashion Week February 2017. I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of Cerys in the future. See some more of Cerys’s work on Instagram @cwmoss_x.

Lastly find Favotell at www.favotell.com or on Twitter. They are a brand management company who showcase amazing brands like the ones I have mentioned. Do get in touch with them if they can assist you with your brand. There were more amazing brands at the event also but I have written about a few as above.