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Gelantines Day Gift Ideas

By | Fashion, Seasonal | No Comments

Here are some gift ideas for women for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day from expert blogger Heather Nixon, originally published on of beautyandnothingness.com and reproduced here with her permission.

Valentines day is almost around the corner! January feels like it has lasted for a year but also it seems like 2019 is flying by already somehow. However, with the start of February fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about valentines day and galentines day, the latter is the most important!
I’m extremely lucky in that I have quite a lot of friends as well as three extra special friends who I’ve known for most of my life and I do feel as though I taken them for granted sometimes so galentines day is a great way to show how much you appreciate those friends who will always be there for you!
I know that valentines day and galentines day are ‘Hallmark holidays’ but I still feel as though they are great excuses to treat those you love, whether it’s your partner or friends, because why not!
I personally love receiving gifts and I know my friends do too and it’s a little more special if it’s unexpected. Today’s post features a range of gifts that would be ideal as a galentines (or palentines day, I’ve heard it being called) gifts. Thanks so much to Funky Pigeon, Simply Beach and Blue Flamingo.

Let’s start with a couple of gorgeous and slightly more unusual gifts, both of which are from Funky Pigeon. Candles are an ideal gift for most and I love receiving them too as they instantly make any room so much cosier, warmer and more inviting which is definitely something everyone needs at this time of the year (it’s currently snowing as I’m writing this post). For ever thrilling weather updates as well as blogger mail unboxings, follow me on Instagram (@ofbeautyand).
There are so many candles out there and maybe your friends have tried many of them so why not opt for something a little more unusual in a cocktail inspired candle. The candle I was very kindly sent is the ‘pink champagne’ candle which not only looks gorgeous but it smells heavenly too. To me, it has a very fresh and fruity scent that’s a little unique and it would be perfect for adding a little spring freshness into any home. It’s currently on sale, along with a few other gifts in the galentines day section, so go, go, go.

There are so many gorgeous gifts to choose from, for a range of ages, preferences and tastes, on the Funky Pigeon website but one item that instantly caught my eye was this utterly gorgeous notebook (we all know how much I love a cute notebook). I haven’t tried anything from this brand but I love the style of all of their items so I now need to check out this brand more throughly!
The notebook I chose doesn’t just have such a cute cover and a simple and classic design but it also has multiple ribbon bookmarks which makes it look even cuter and makes it even more practical. I’m planning on using this notebook for family record keeping (such as family stories before they are forgotten) but it would be great for so many other uses too. If you have a friend or partner that loves stationery then definitely check out this notebook on Funky Pigeon as I think it will be a hit with so many stationery lovers, myself included.

The penultimate item within today’s gift guide (there will be more valentines day inspired gift guides coming soon) is more on the luxury end of the spectrum so it would be great for those extra special friends, for a special birthday or as a Mother’s Day gift as Mother’s Day in the UK isn’t too far away. I was very kindly sent the Urban Life silk scarf from the lovely people over at Blue Flamingo and I think it would make such a lovely, special and luxurious gift to give.
There are a variety of designs to choose from (I think the Sloane Square design is my ultimate favourite of the design currently available) but I opted for the Urban Life scarf as I know that my mum will absolutely love it! I’m planning on giving my mum a little valentines day gift this year as she always gave myself and my sister valentines day treats growing up, whether it was chocolates or a toy so I think it would be a nice gesture to finally gift my mum something in return.
The scarf is composed of 100% AA grade medium weight silk and it’s a great size at 150cm by 65cm. I’m personally not a fan of huge scarves, maybe because I’m very petite so this size is ideal for me and also my mum. The scarf is so smooth and soft, it feels quite luxurious and it would make for a lovely, thoughtful gift this valentines and galentines day. You’ll hopefully see a photo of this scarf as as outfit of the day soon…if the snow stops!

The final item on my gift guide is another sale gift but this one is from Simply Beach which is a site I’ve been lucky enough to work with previously. Simple Beach has such a wide range of gorgeous beachwear, beach accessories and swimwear such as push up bikini, jewellery, footwear, bags and more so if you are jetting off to soak up some winter sun then look no further than Simply Beach, especially as there are currently so many sale items on their website!
The pouch I received has one of my favourite designs to feature on any accessories or clothing which is stars. I have a tattoo of stars on my wrist so naturally when I find any item with stars, I’m instantly drawn to it and this cute pouch is no different. I love the design, it think it would be perfect as a beach clutch and it’s a great size too; however I’m going to use it as a makeup pouch for my handbag as I love to keep everything organised and why not keep all of my makeup organised in an adorable star pouch! I can’t recommend it (or the Simply Beach site) enough and I think there are numerous items that would make wonderful galentines day gifts on there.

New Year, New You

By | Fashion, Seasonal | 27 Comments

Q: What do astrology, alzheimer’s, Doctor Who, scarves, and palm prints have in common?

A: 2019.

New Year’s resolutions are fated to succeed in 2019

successful new years resolutions 2019So it’s the first of January. Maybe we’re all a bit too hungover to put our new year’s resolutions into effect right now, but we definitely will tomorrow (or maybe start thinking about it tomorrow…).

However, according to the study of astrology, 2019 is the best year to start your new year’s resolution on 1 January.  Mars, the power and motivation planet, enters its home sign of Aries today, meaning you have more chance of sticking to your resolution. This is the first time this alignment has happened on 1 January since records began.

There are many helpful tips online about how to set (and keep) your new year’s resolutions. Keep them specific, keep them small, and set timelines. Small lifestyle changes are easier to stick to, such as only taking on dry January for one week, doing a few minutes of stretching and movement when you get out of bed each morning, or eating one vegetable-only meal a day to help you get your five a day.

Blue Flamingo’s New Year’s resolution

Blue Flamingo is making a New Year’s resolution, and that starts today. We’re joining Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, David Walliams and others in supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK. Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, dedicated to causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure. Their mission is to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025.

Charitable giving corporate social responsibility csr Alzheimer's logoSupporting those affected by Alzheimer’s, whether directly or indirectly (see the great work undertaken by the Alzheimer’s Society) is a cause dear to my heart. I lost my Dad to Alzheimer’s. The diagnosis was a terrible blow to all the family, but I felt particularly close to him. He had always been there when I needed him, and now the rock in my life was fading away. I poured the ghastliness of his illness and the grief I was feeling into the final project for my art degree. My Dad sadly passed away shortly before I finished my degree.

When I heard about the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK, I knew I wanted to help them prevent or find a cure for dementia. So for every scarf or pocket square I sell in 2019, I will give 3% of the price to the charity.

Doctor Who?

On a lighter note, apart from making changes through resolutions, each year brings us new looks through fresh fashion trends. Many trends from the past few years have arisen from new takes on old classics, and 2019 looks set to be no different, starting today with the unlikely fashion icon, Doctor Who.

The thirteenth Doctor Who is wearing a scarf for today’s seasonal special, fittingly called “Resolution”. The scarf, with its brightly coloured stripes, is very reminiscent of the scarf worn by Tom Baker’s Doctor. As with many great fashion innovations, this one wasn’t a deliberate design on the part of Doctor Who’s costume designer, but accidental innovation. The show’s production designer was wearing it on production and the costume designer saw it and thought it would be great for Doctor Who actor Jodie Whittaker who loved it.

Who doesn’t love a scarf, Jodie?!

Doctor Who Scarf Tom Baker Scarf

Image from https://www.space.ca/tom-baker-doctor-who-shada/


Doctor Who Scarf 2019 Jodie Whittaker

Image from https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2018-12-27/doctor-who-jodie-whittaker-scarf-new-year-special/

2019 Fashion Trends

Other trends going into 2019 have been around for a couple of years now but are still going strong. One of these is for palm leaf prints, and another is for feathers, and I’m delighted to announce that one of my new Spring/Summer collection is the palm leaf and peacock scarf and pocket square designs.

If you fancy a new look for 2019, take a look at the other items in my new collection below.

Wishing you a Happy New Year

Last of all, may you have every joy and success in 2019!

Happy New Year image and Blue Flamingo 2019 fashion accessories logo

Festive gift ideas 2018

By | Seasonal | No Comments

Festive gift shopping season is upon us.

In Britain, only 24% of people save their Christmas Day shopping until December. And with Diwali, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Chanuka all taking place in November and the start of December, many more people will have completed their gift shopping by the end of November.

Chocolate is the most popular gift for adults in the U.K. It’s easy to see why because it’s easy to buy. Almost everyone loves chocolate, and manufacturers put it in such attractive Christmas packages. I don’t know about you but I start to panic when I see chocolate mounting up in my presents pile. The festive season is already a time of indulgence, I don’t need any more! It brings Money Savings Expert, Martin Lewis’s 9-year campaign to mind – to not throw away money on things people don’t need or want, and to think about the pressure you put on recipients with your own gift-giving, and on the rest of your community if you’re extravagant with your children.

Nearly half of shoppers plan on buying their gifts in the supermarket. As a recipient of a paltry selection of fitness and drinking accessories from my other half one year, I don’t recommend this for domestic harmony.

christmas gifts for pets dogs unusual fun

Or maybe that’s why shoppers will spend an average of over $100 dollars on themselves during Christmas shopping!

All together we will also spend more than $5 million on our pets for Christmas.

That’s a lot of money. But how can you resist?

Here’s Princess Phoebe in her Christmas jumper last year!

Let’s not forget those less fortunate than ourselves during the festive season. There are many initiatives to buy a homeless person Christmas dinner, or buy essential items for those in need at home and abroad.

 

Two thirds of you intend to spend less on Christmas this year compared to last year according to Bobatoo Insurance’s 2018 Christmas Spending survey. You will spend most of your gift budget on family members rather than your children (or, of course, your ever-neglected partner or spouse – or friends!). The majority of you will spend less than £150 on gifts for your partners.

This means that we’re all under increasing pressure to find a special gifts for loved ones that are great value for money.

Do you know what you’re buying for your family or partner this year?

Festive Gift ideas for women

Here are some lovely ideas for women for around £65. And yes, there’s chocolate in there, but it redeems itself with fizz and body butter as well.

Classic Black

pink gift ideas for christmas

Hotel Chocolat hamper

unusual christmas gift ideas

Black and white bag from Debenhams

hannuka gifts

Radley black purse from Debenhams

red black silk scarf boost little black dress

Lipsy silk scarf from Blue Flamingo £65

Festive green

green gifts gin giftset boxset gin lover unusual ideas for gifts

Luxury gin hamper from Hamper.com

unusual gift for londoners

Sloane Square silk scarf from Blue Flamingo £65

Londoner gift christmas nightwear lingerie wome

Map print dressing gown from Trouva

music lovers gift moonlight concert summer fireworks

Summer concert for 2 from Debenhams

Pretty in Pink

pink gift idea unusual unique

Make up set from Revolution

pink floral feminine unusual gift scarf silk accessory

Hibiscus scarf from Blue Flamingo £65

pink luxury gift idea for women

Michael Kors bangle from Watchshop

pink perfume giftset gift idea

Valentino perfume giftset from The Fragrance Shop

Festive gift ideas for men

And here are some ideas for men for around £35.

Blue for boys

gift ideas for men blue unusual unique

Hip flask from Not on the High Street

Blue holdall from Not on the High Street

blue gold blush pocket square gift for men

Blue Abstract pocket square from Blue Flamingo £35

Slippers from Debenhams

Multi colours

multi-coloured pocket square fashionable gift for men

Mode silk pocket square from Blue Flamingo £35

game of thrones gift for boys and men risk boardgame

Risk Game of Thrones edition from I Want One of Those

luxury gift for men whisky drinker stag deer pewter unusual different unique glass

Stag Head glass from John Lewis

luxury cheap gift for men and women movie buff film lover cinema goer quality 5 star champagne experience

Luxury movie night from I Want One of Those

Autumn bronzes

luxury gift ideas for men

Leather gloves from Not on the High Street

personalised gifts for men unusual unique whisky lover

Personalised whisky gift from Find me a Gift

unusual gift idea christmas wine lover experience

Wine lover’s gift from Find me a Gift

gold bronze brown pocket square gift idea unusual trendy fashionable stylish man

Downtown silk pocket square from Blue Flamingo £35

Most popular gifts category

The most popular gift category is clothing and accessories which nearly two thirds of adults will purchase. And two thirds of people will do their shopping online. So what are you waiting for? Click here and find unique luxury accessories online for the best gifts for loved ones this festive season.

christmas logo

Girl about town, beach, pool, bar… Summer scarf styling tips

By | Fashion, Seasonal | 2 Comments

The school summer holidays are upon us and many of us will be packing our beachwear and jetting off to possibly-not-warmer climes given the summer we’ve had so far here in the UK.  Most of us like to take a beach dress, sarong or other wraparound for wearing over our swimwear on the way to or from the beach. But you don’t need to buy one from a beachwear department; just pack your Blue Flamingo scarf. One of the scarves’ strongest points is their large size which makes them ideal to wear in a variety of styles as totally unique tops around Monaco or as bold beach cover-ups at Cannes – or whichever holiday destination you’re strutting your stylish stuff in this summer.

Blue scarf design blowing in the sea breeze

Time to embrace the sun, sand, and sea breezes on your summer holiday

Another feature of Blue Flamingo scarves is that they are made from pure silk. Unlike high street summer scarves which are made from low-cost synthetic fabrics such as viscose and satin, the natural fibres of Blue Flamingo scarves are breathable, and they feel soft and cool against your skin. They are so soothing to wear after a hot day at the beach when your skin can feel dry and irritated from the sun, sand and salt water.

But in case you find the evening breeze a little too cool as you sip your romantic sunset aperitivo at the bar, the pure silk of Blue Flamingo scarves offers great protection from the elements, again unlike lower cost options.

Below are some suggestions for how you can style your Blue Flamingo scarf over your bikini, or wear comfortably about town all day long so you stand out from the crowds.

 

1. Skirt

Tie the scarf around your waist for a classic lower body cover up.  If you’re lucky enough to have great legs, go for the shorter option as shown in the first image.

Scarf worn as a sarong shortScarf used as a sarong

2. Wraparound

Tie it tight, or hang it off an ample bust!

 

3. Halter neck #1

Start with the scarf behind your back and pull the top corners in front of you.

Twist the corners round each other in front of your neck.

Tie the ends behind your neck.

Scarf as hal

4. Halter neck #2

Start with the scarf behind your back.

Cross the top corners over in front of you and tie the ends behind your neck.

Scarf worn as a halter neck top

5. Halter back

Fold the scarf in half.

Take the new top 2 corners and tie in a very small knot.

Open the scarf out and you will see two armholes which you slip into from behind.

scarf worn as top with armholesscarf worn as top with armholes

6. Grecian

Tie the top two corners over one shoulder, tight enough so the scarf doesn’t sag on your chest, and the bottom two corners under your arm.

Scarf as Grecian top

7. Shawl

Oh so many ways to do this one – let your imagination run wild!  

Scarf worn as a beach shawlScarf worn as a short beach shawl over the shoulders

It’d be great to hear your own styling ideas for wearing your shopblueflamingo.com scarf as a skirt or top this summer.  Add your comments to this blog, or send in a photo of yourself for my Look Book.  Cheers, and Bon Voyage!

Scarf on the beach with a glass of prosecco

What to wear at Wimbledon

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What to wear at Wimbledon

We’re just a couple of weeks away from one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar: Wimbledon. It’s an exciting mixture of world class tennis and a feeling of fellowship as we unite as a country to cheer on our British sportsmen and women. All topped off with more pride and patriotism as we indulge in the quintessential strawberries and cream with Pimms or Pommery.

I’m also eager to see the outfits that will be sported across the court.

For a recap of last year’s outfits, see Vogue’s article.

Most of the male spectators wore suits ranging from the casual look of Stormzy in his jacket with white t-shirt to the more traditional styling of Eddie Redmayne. What made both of these outfits stand out to me were the pocket squares. They really do add a cutting-edge or sophisticated finish to your outfit according to the look you’re aiming for. Most squares were disappointingly plain for me, though Johannes Huebl wore a beige checked number in a grey blazer over a striped shirt and fleur-de-lys tie with white chinos, hitting a perfect note of contemporary, sophisticated and relaxed.

Sir Ian McKellan also layered his patterns, albeit less successfully than model and husband of Olivia Palermo, Johannes. But Sir Ian definitely stood out in his light-coloured suit with men’s silk scarf draped elegantly over.

Due to the (hopeful) July heat, you do need to keep your suit lightweight and light-coloured. But you can embolden your cream, light blue or light grey jacket with the Blue Abstract, Stripe, or Cerise Hibiscus pocket square.

Stormzy

 

Eddie Redmayne

Johannes Huebl

 

Blue abstract design Stripe Design Cerise Hibiscus design

It’s a strict rule that all players must wear white and many celebrities enjoy the challenge of following suit in style. Why not imitate Stella McCartney and her husband who co-ordinated in monochrome suits. Fellow fashion designer rocked an androgynous look in a men’s style suit last year. Male or female, you can copy their look but add a unique touch with BlueFlamingo’s matching black and white Abstract silk pocket square and tie set.

Stella McCartney and her husband Black and white abstract pocket square and tie set

 

For a more feminine look, Lady Helen Taylor and Olivia Palermo both took on the white dress but made it ‘pop’ with a bold accessory; a geometric monochrome jacket or a brightly coloured flower respectively.

Harper’s Bazaar has just published their tips on what to wear this year. There’s something for all tastes in there – stripes, checks, florals…

My favourites are the yellow sun dress by Gioia Bini or the white Ellery crepe flares with blue and yellow side stripes and Mango yellow check blazer, any of which you could really make pop with BlueFlamingo’s Champagne ladies, Pink and blue flamingo or Sandy Shore designs, all pure silk.

Champagne Ladies Design pure silk scarf Pink and Blue Flamingo Design pure silk scarf Sandy Shore Design Pure Silk Scarf

To keep in with the white look, the H&M cotton dressMango jumpsuit or Max Mara blazer would really pop with BlueFlamingo’s Mode, Heart String or Frida Kahlo design pure silk scarf.

Mode Design Heart Strings Design Frida Kahlo Design

Not only is a scarf a great partner for an elegantly plain outfit to create a truly outstanding look, it’s a great accessory to have in case the sun goes in or there’s a cooling breeze. Made of pure silk, BlueFlamingo scarves have the great quality of warmth when you need it but are breathably cool in the summer sun.

Now you’re all game and set for the match. Don’t forget your brolly in case it rains, and a hat in case the sun shines. Oh, and flat shoes or wedges for walking on the grass (flip flops are forbidden though).

Details on how to watch Wimbledon in person or on TV are here: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2018-06-13/wimbledon-tennis-2018-live-tv-how-to-watch/

www.radiotimes.com
How to see matches for free on the BBC – and via Eurosport – plus details of tickets, seedings and injuries

 

Leave a comment if you’ve any fashion or accessory tips for a successful Wimbledon outing.

 

A Flamboyance of Flamingos

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I feel I cannot have a website called Shopblueflamingo.com without paying homage to these wonderful birds and explaining where the name ‘blue flamingo’ came from!

Firstly, why flamingos and what does that have to do with fashion?  I was drawn to these stunning birds when I first visited Flamingo Land in Yorkshire as a child.  I remember being totally mesmerised by them.  They just didn’t seem real.  It was as if they were meant to be in a children’s book as a fun loving character, but no, here they were, right in front of me elegantly, nonchalantly doing what flamingos do.  So what do flamingos do?  Well here are some facts:

 

  • They are gregarious birds, preferring and thriving better in larger flocks.
  • Flamingos are wading birds but are genetically close to grebes.
  • The word flamingo comes from the Spanish and Latin word “flamenco”, meaning fire, a reference to the birds brightly coloured feathers.
  • The Pink flamingo (there are also grey and paler versions) gets it’s colour from the food it eats: shrimp, algae and insects. The shrimp contain carotenoids which give the pink flamingos their beautiful colour.
  • To eat they tun their bills upside down in shallow waters and scoop the food up, filtering out the water.
  • They are monogamous and lay only one egg per year.
  • They are often seen standing on one leg with the other tucked into it’s plumage to keep it warm.
  • When it appears that the flamingo is bending it’s knee, this is actually it’s ankle.
  • In the wild they live up to 20 – 30 years, in captivity 50 years or longer.
  • It is acceptable to call a flock of flamingos a flamboyance of flamingos – How cool is that?!!

So, I think you may be starting to get the picture of why at least I chose flamingos as part of the name for my shop.  Their gregarious nature and flamboyance totally emulates what shopblueflamingo is all about, wearing unique, not on the high street, accessory designs on luxurious silk and cashmere – so you feel like the special person you are.   However, I hear you ask? Why blue?

Ok, so blue is my favourite colour but that isn’t reason enough to just throw it into the name of my shop!   In my vivid imagination (some may say weird, but that’s okay, weird is good, it’s extraordinary!!), I imagined a flamboyance of pink flamingos and one of them felt different.  He/she wanted to stand out from the crowd and be ‘blue’.  Blue, just happens to be – yes, my favourite colour – the colour I first painted with in the late 90’s, living in Portugal and embarking on an Azulejos tile painting course (see previous blog for more info).  

So, back to the blue flamingo.

He/she is strutting his/her stuff in the flock and certainly gets noticed.  The meaning behind this is that, oftentimes in life, we try to “fit in” with the crowd even when inside we feel “different”.  Our personalities and passions can often be hidden away as we fear being labelled “weird.”  How do you feel about this?  Do you conform to be accepted?

I was always creative, but it was the easier option, for a while, to conform and “fit in”. So, I hid my passion away for years.  The problem with that is you can only keep it up for so long because it is soul destroying, suppressing that creative energy.  Eventually, my true colour burst out and I started a business in ceramic painting.

I loved it, I felt like me.  My passion was finally out there.  Today, that business is no longer (more info on my website) but I have found my path into the world of using my creative skills to design on ladies pure silk scarves and pocket squares (oh and more recently ties) for men.  It has combined my love of art, design, fashion and entrepreneurial skills in a way I could never have dreamed of when I first picked up the paint brush to do my first design, in cobalt blue powder paint on a bisque ceramic tile all those years ago.

Well my friends, I hope you now understand the meaning behind Shopblueflamingo!

The mantra, or catch phrase I use always is: Be bold, Be unique, Be extraordinary because just like the blue flamingo we are all bursting to show our true colours.  Is that true for you?  

Blue & Pink Flamingo silk scarf Blue Flamingo silk scarf Blue & Pink Flamingo pocket square Blue Flamingo pocket square

So, please let me know you comments on this blog in the comments box below.