Over the last few months I experienced something I never expected I needed to face.  My longest, oldest friend who had been beside me since we were at Primary School, died unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest.  

It's been a testing time and as I looked at quotes on Pinterest, I found one in particular caught my eye. I decided to take its advice and one of the few luxuries of being freelance and left London and work to spend the entirety at home in the Cotswold's. I felt comforted to be in the most beautiful place, where my friend and I have so many happy memories and I want to encourage others the importance of sometimes letting go and spending time where you feel yourself.

Being in the open countryside and allowing myself time to slow down was an important stage in my grief. It also gave me perspective to realise that doing what is best for myself is paramount and being present in a moment rather than thinking ahead was something I needed more than ever.
If you find yourself in a similar position or face a period of time which is going to be difficult. Be honest with yourself and secondly find your beautiful place.

You can find the list of the places I visited below on my Pinterest and I will take this opportunity to mention my friend's family is raising money for The British Heart Foundation. I'm encouraging everyone to donate to such an important charity. 

Regular readers will be aware of my love for luxury fashion jewellery brand CARAT* London and remember my CARAT* BAFTA posts from last year.

Nestled within the Covent Garden Piazza, you cannot miss the CARAT* Covent Garden store which dazzles from the outside including the inside.  Glass cases surround the space displaying radiant jewels with a timeless glamour from a bygone era combined with a modern day wearability.  

Don’t miss your chance to win a stunning “Millennium” bracelet with this exciting CARAT* competition which closes on Sunday 31st May 2015.

How to play? It's not only easy but a great opportunity to try on your jewellery fantasy. Be creative, have fun and shine for all the world to see.

1. Find your nearest CARAT* London boutiques or worldwide stockist by clicking 'here' go inside and choose a piece of jewellery that you like and take a picture of it. Alternatively, if you are like me and already own a piece of CARAT* take a picture of your CARAT* collection. 
2. If you have not yet done so, follow @caratlondon on Instagram
3. Post your photo on your instagram with the hashtag #caratlondonmoment and include @caratlondon in your photo.
(Please note that you will need to set your Instagram account to public in order to participate and please click 'here' for the terms and conditions)

Your creativity will be highly rewarded! Each week, CARAT* London will select the top 5 participants with the best picture to win a CARAT* London “Millennium” bracelet.  I shall be following all of your entries on Instagram and commenting on my favourite photos too.  

Wishing you all the best of luck.

I was reading cards in the humour section last week and couldn't help but smile when my eyes found an animated card on the middle shelf.  A mother and her teenage daughter are chatting together and the daughter expresses; "I've got hundreds of friends on instagram and twitter that I've never met." Her mother responds; "When I was young we called them imaginary friends".

The mother's response is funny and fairly accurate although with the creation of social media, in the last few years, I too have acquired friends of whom I have never met.  Most of the time we have shared interests and see each others lives through the medium of text and photography, 'liking' and commenting on posts and tweets to support and engage.  Malcolm Morris or better known to me as @gingerjeweller is my instagram friend but more importantly a talented jeweller with forty years experience. 

After studying at Birmingham Jewellery School and Middlesex University, Malcolm started his namesake brand and creating one-off tiaras for films such as 'Shakespeare in Love' and 'The Wedding Date'.

Malcolm's jewellery which takes inspiration from natural forms, are entirely made and finished by hand in the UK.  I love the simplicity of Malcolm's collections, reminiscent of Roman jewellery combined with a modern twist.

I have many favourites from the Apple Blossom Collar to the Morphology Ring although I also love the Gaia bangle for it's elegance. 

Malcolm also offers an exciting Bespoke Service for anyone who would like to recycle their old and unworn gold and diamond jewellery and turn them into beautiful new pieces. You can see a selection of these before and after pieces in the gallery here.

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Ruffles, flounces and frills are one of the same. Worn well and you will mesmerise, opt for too many at once and your look could turn 80s fancy dress.

Sweeping across all aspects of fashion from daywear and eveningwear to nightwear and swimwear, ruffles are the epitome of femininity.

For SS15 the trend features various forms, from exaggerating shapes on a column dress or pencil skirt to create definition, added to a hem to soften the silhouette, appliqued for a 3D look or layered and asymmetric to suggest a sculpted form.  Whatever you choose remember this trend is all about movement.

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Roksanda at Harvey Nichols
J BRAND + Simone Rocha at net-a-porter.com
Llunaa at lux-fix.com
Lisa Marie Fernandez at Harrods

This month's jewellery notes feature the collections by design duo Smith/Grey.  Birgit Marie Schmidt and Sofus Graae create pieces as a creative expression of their European and Scandinavian roots combined with their British education and London lifestyle.  Impeccably crafted, I instantly fell for their contemporary collections. 

I first saw 'Marina's Roses' a beautiful asymmetric pair of earrings, featuring one rose stem and one rose stud, worn by a friend of mine. The designers name wasn't known by her as the item was bought for her as a present, after a little research I thankfully found Smith/Grey and discovered more of the 'Bulls & Roses' collection, from which the earrings belong. 

Smith/Grey offer a diverse selection of jewellery for women and the brand also caters for men. My favourite item for men is the signet ring because of its unique quality. Each ring is textured individually, making each piece one of a kind. 

With a variety of stockists from Wolf & Badger and Boticca to Harrods and Avenue 32, Smith/Grey are destined for greater success. 

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For Men