Feeling blue this Summer?


This summer is all about colour. We’ll be dressing in a colourful palette of neon brights, minty greens, over-the-top oranges, sunshine yellows and blinding whites!


If you’re confident enough to rock the rainbow from head to toe, you’ll be sure to make a summer statement. But simple pops of colour in your accessories will keep you on trend too. Chunky jewellery in bold shades will set off the simplest of outfits and shoot you through the roof of summer style.


In Bristol however, there’s one colour trend that wins hands down – the blue and white of Bristol Rovers. Newly promoted to the Football League after triumphing over Grimsby Town at Wembley, Bristol Rovers’ trademark blue and white has been de rigueur on the terraces all season. Happily, it has also been all over the catwalks, so the style conscious wanting to show support for their local team can do so with their fashionable heads held high!


So, while the men in our lives might mark Rovers’ success by checking the football betting results, waving their nylon team scarves around or getting their faces painted, we women will be making a more stylish celebratory statement.


It all kicked off at Paris Fashion Week this spring when Australian actress Melissa George turned heads at the Hermes collection in a stunning blue and white ensemble. She teamed a flowing, knee-length linen skirt in a striking shade of blue with a pretty pale blue and white striped top. The chic, short-sleeved blouse was tucked neatly into the skirt, but Melissa avoided being too true blue by accenting the outfit with bright yellow accessories and snake-skin heels. And that’s the key to turning classic blue and white from old school to the Class of 2015 – dare to be bold.


In fact, keeping it simple could be your biggest mistake. The trick is to avoid coming over all Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Steer clear of blocks of colour and, instead, look for pretty patterns or graphic prints. Stripes and checks are both very “now”, but dilute the traditional feel by choosing pieces in more edgy shades – electric cobalt, mid-ocean or the palest cornflower blue. Silver jewellery looks fabulous with blue so invest in pretty bracelets or bangles and stack them up your wrist. Or inject a bit of colour into an all-white outfit with a gorgeously crafted pair of ear-rings in Grecian blue. Luckily for us, blue looks cool on most skin tones and is infinitely less harsh than black. Just go easy on the make-up. Keep your lips natural to avoid elevating your look to red, white and blue and, for the same reason, keep your blusher light. The High Street is also packed with blue and white accessories. Cinch in a navy blazer with a wide, white belt or dress up your denims with a strappy blue sandal. Look for oversized clutches embellished with blue jewels or delicate embroidery and hunt out floaty scarves in wispy chiffon or luxurious silk.


There’s just one rule – absolutely no nylon.



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I heart tea!


There are times when we all need a friendly hug, a high-decibel rant or a silent weep into a potent cocktail. And there are other times when only a hot cup of tea will do.


The British are potty about tea – we drink 165 million cups a day – and there are some occasions when drinking anything else would seem unpatriotic! If your best friend comes to your door bearing bad news, the only appropriate response is to put the kettle on. If it’s really bad news, then it is a national requirement to add several spoonfuls of sugar. Sporting events are fraught with beverage etiquette. Race-goers quaff Champagne, football louts love lager and cricket without tea just wouldn’t be, well, cricket. Retired England international Jack Russell was famed for his addiction to tea and drank up to 30 cuppas a day. On current form (check out their odds for this summer’s Ashes), this might be England cricket’s biggest claim to fame for the foreseeable future.



A personal favourite, afternoon tea is famous all over the world as quintessentially British. The most expensive afternoon tea was served at the Cliveden Hotel in Berkshire for £550 per couple! The £2,000-a-kilo Da Hong Pao Tea was served in china cups, but I prefer mine from a mug with, a chocolate digestive on the side for dunking. Recently while in London, Mum & I popped to Brown’s Hotel (the oldest hotel in London) for their Champagne Afternoon Tea and in my opinion it’s the best in London!



There is ALWAYS controversy over how to make the best cup of tea. Three per cent of the population prefer a milky brew, while nine per cent like it on the strong side. Many surveys have been held to determine how to prepare the perfect cup of tea, but only a Brownie who’s earned her tea-making badge can give you a definitive response. And that’s official.



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Signs you’re turning into your mother, and why that’s OK!


A few days ago Mum had quite a big Birthday! We spent the weekend in London celebrating and doing all the appropriate celebratory London things (theatre, afternoon tea, shopping etc..) and it was fabulous. It got me thinking, we’ve always been close (everyone calls my mum Micky and everyone’s always called me ‘Mini Micky’) and in recent years closer and I’ve started to notice myself doing some of the things mum does. They say ‘It happens to us all, at some stage.’ Those things that you used to think were peculiar to your mum, and that you either found endearing or irritating, are suddenly things that you’re doing yourself.



Familiar phrases

As a teen, you probably found some of your mum’s stock phrases irritating and maybe teased her about saying the same thing over and over. But, without you noticing it happening, you’ll suddenly find that you start to have a few repetitive phrases of your own. Worse still, someone else will point it out to you. Things like: ‘Do you listen to a word I say?’, ‘How many times do I have to ask you?’, ‘Leave it, I’ll do it myself’…Obviously, there are some endearing ones, too, like calling everyone you know ‘Sweetheart’ or ‘Darling’, but it’s the nagging phrases that will bother you!


Odd things become exciting

When you were young, do you remember the fuss that adults, including your mum, used to make about ‘a nice cup of tea’, when they’d got in from the shops or from a long walk? You probably thought what sad cases they were. But be honest, you must have said it yourself in the last few years, when you’ve had a hard day and no time for a break.


Similarly, most kids would think it was weird that their mum would get excited about a game of bingo. And, up until a few years ago, you’d probably still think that. But now that you can play online bingo on a site like bgo or Gala, the game’s suddenly socially acceptable, cool even. Strange but true, the game your mum likes to play can be exciting! And while you still may be resistant to the idea of playing bingo, at sites like bgo there’s also a massive range of casino games such as slots, roulette and blackjack to choose from, even if bingo’s not ‘your cup of tea’ (another ‘mum’ phrase, geddit?!).



I’ve got it in my bag

Throughout your childhood, whenever you needed something, like a tissue for your nose or a plaster, your mum would invariably have it in her handbag. Nowadays, do you find yourself being the provider of all things when you’re out with friends? Don’t worry about it, it’s just another sign that you’re turning into your mum, and while you’re being helpful to others, is that really such a bad thing?


Need something? You can bet your mum would have it in her bag


Bargain spotting

Shopping for bargains is another example of that transformation into being a mum, even if you don’t have kids yet! Why buy branded ketchup when the supermarket version is cheaper? Do you come home with two lots of chicken when you went out for beef mince, just because the chicken was on offer? And you can’t resist scrummaging around in the final price bargain racks in clothes shops, either, even if it means buying a bikini just as the winter is about to get under way. Don’t worry, you’re not going mad, you’re just getting to be as bargain-savvy as your mother!


No matter what kind of relationship you have with your mum, there will be times during your life when you increasingly remind yourself of her. If your mum is your heroine, then that’s great. We all want to be like the people we admire. If you don’t get along, don’t take it too badly. Just blame your mum-mimicking on genetics and accept the inevitable!


Co-written with Emma Smith*


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