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Coming From America: The Top 5 Things We Love About London

  School is out and summer is in. Time for travel and experiencing the world. Jessica and Havisha, pictured here wearing some Anna Lou of London jewellery, travelled here from America. We talked to them about what they love most about London. 5. The Underground Neither of us have really taken public transportation before, so the Tube was a thrill. In the short time that we’ve been here, we have travelled all around London on the Tube. It’s so efficient, and really cool because you never see the same person twice. 4. The Culture One of the best parts about London is that it’s a cultural melting pot. We come from big cities like New York and DC, which also have a mix of people. But there are different types of people here. It’s nice because we are in a country that speaks our language and has many of the same things we do, but we still get to experience different cultures. 3. The Accents We ditched Jersey slang and Southern twang for British accents. Everything sounds so much more elegant here, no matter what is being said. We told our parents that if we don’t have beautifully British accents by the end of our trip, they are sending us back! 2. The Shopping London has a lot of stores that are also present in America: Urban Outfitters, AllSaints, Top Shop, etc. But what we really love is the morning and weekend markets. You can find such unique and adorable pieces there. It’s nothing like anything we have at home. 1. The Royalty So far we’ve been to Buckingham Palace, and to see the crown jewels at the Tower of London. The history and the beauty of it all is overwhelming. We wish we had some royalty in American history!

GUEST POST: THE WOMEN'S ROOM TREND FORECASTER GIVES HER TAKE ON WEARING A STATEMENT NECKLACE

This guest post is written by co founder and editor of The Women's Room blog,  Jane, who besides writing the popular blog aimed at women over 35, is also a trained womenswear designer who specialises in colour and trend forecasting...  I have always been a fan of a statement necklace. The art teacher/textile lecturer look has worked for me right from the 80's, when it was all about a diamante necklace or strategically placed brooch teamed with head to toe black, through to the noughties when I favoured New Age crystals with a white hoodie, 501 jeans and hi tops. So the current trends for bold neckwear is perfect for me and I love the way that this time round it’s all about casual styling with OTT jewellery. Simple sweatshirts, angora or cashmere knits or denim shirts are the perfect backdrop for a statement necklace– and if they feel too dressed up for daywear, you can just stick them in your bag and pop them on for an evening out. The perfect desk to dinner look – as we say in the fashion business! They are also perfect to dress up a simple black or navy dress for Christmas occasion wear. No-one needs another party dress, but stick on a pair of these earrings or a brightly coloured necklace and you’re good to go."

GUEST POST: Punk Trend in all its glory!

I love when the punk trend comes back in because it reminds me of the good old days of Avril Lavigne and Sid Vicious, but AW 2013 Punk trend is a bit more chic! So this autumn I’m stocking up on tartan, leather and studs galore to celebrate punk trend in all its glory! (Image one clothing collage) (links below) http://www.warehouse.co.uk/collarless-faux-leather-biker/leather/warehouse/fcp-product/6540001777 http://uk.accessorize.com/view/product/uk_catalog/acc_5,acc_5.9/4871739900 http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/skirts-449/mix-check-woven-kilt-2336977?bi=21&ps=20 But the look wouldn’t be complete without some edgy punk trend jewellery to complement it! (Image two jewellery collage) (Links below) http://www.annalouoflondon.com/product/Silver-Personalise-Monogram-Ring/3492/1378 http://www.annalouoflondon.com/product/Necklace-Gold-Bar-necklace/3190/1117 http://www.annalouoflondon.com/product/Fabric-Studded-Strap-Bracelets/3864/1411 http://www.annalouoflondon.com/product/Bracelet-Silver-Studded-Bangles/3065/1362 http://www.annalouoflondon.com/product/Necklace-Silver-Statement-Crystal-Earrings/3942/1440 http://www.annalouoflondon.com/product/Rose-Gold-Personalise-Cross-Necklace/3791/1400 Now all you need is some kohl eyeliner and some punk trend hairdye and you’re set to go! Which punky piece is your favourite? Georgia x Georgiabeee.blogspot.co.uk

Guest Post: Rose Gold Jewellery by La Fashion Folie

We're back with our first guest post of 2014 and this week we hear from the lovely Sophie, who blogs about fashion, jewellery and all things stylish at La Fashion Folie, as she talks about the latest trend for rose gold jewellery. A Rosy Outlook ‘Say it with roses’ so goes the iconic Cadbury’s slogan, a saying that can also be applied to the key trend for 2014: rose gold jewellery. The taste for this metal has slowly been gathering momentum over the past couple of years and this fashion season it is set to go stratospheric. Personally I am a huge fan, rose gold is now my go-to alloy, with yellow looking brash and white paling into insignificance in comparison.  I now wear the warm hued metal on a near-daily basis with my Anna Lou of London initial necklace becoming a firm favourite in my jewellery wardrobe. The appetite for rose gold  looks set to become more than a seasonal fad too; in my day job I work in the fine jewellery industry and over the past year we have seen an increasing number of clients opting for rose gold engagement rings and eternity bands. I can see why - a pink sapphire gemstone glows when it is set in a rose gold reflecting the warm tones of the metal – an incredible option for an engagement ring! Another cool way to wear rose coloured jewellery is to mix your metals; rose, yellow and white gold enhance one another’s precious appeal when styled together. Try investing in a piece that combines all three alloys in one – Anna Lou of London can tailor bespoke pieces in a mixture of metals upon request. Rose Gold Jewellery by La Fashion FolieTo get you started I’ve put together my edit of my favourite rose gold Anna Lou of London pieces below – all of which would look chic worn alone or layered up together. 1. The Dream Tag Necklace 2. The Initial Sideways Necklace 3. The engraved Heart bracelet 4. The Love Necklace (perfect for Valentines, keep an eye on my blog for a little giveaway soon) 5. Happy Disc Necklace Will you be wearing rose gold this year? This post was written by Sophie Greene of the fashion blog, La Fashion Folie.  

How to Beat the January Blues...

Poor old January really does get a rough deal - it must be everyone's least favourite month. After all of the festivities, sparkle and warmth that fills December, January is associated with grey winter mornings, dark days, back to work blues and boring non sparkly outfits. We liken January to a Monday - you always dread its arrival, it's terribly slow to get going and you're usually pretty glad when it draws to a close. But why not turn January on its head and make it a month to remember? Let's be honest. so much of its dull demeanour is due to our bad attitudes (and of course the weather, which by the by is horrible right now). Why shouldn't January be a month to look forward to? So this 2014 we are vowing to beat the January blues and fill the month with as many exciting, fun and memorable activities as possible! Here's our top tips on how to beat the January blues... 1. Take up a new hobby - well it is the month of resolutions after all so if your going to do something new this year, you really might as well start right now, otherwise it may be a resolution that gets relegated to the 'I'll definitely do it next year' bin. Putting your mind to something new will give you an exciting new focus and we bet you'll get so engrossed the month will fly by! So if you've always wanted to learn the drums, go fly fishing or take up sky diving - now is the time. 2. Listen to upbeat music - At the ALOL offices, we've decided to veto any sad or dreary songs this January and listen to fun, upbeat tunes that get us through the day with a smile. Music is a great way to lift your mood so why not download some new (happy) tracks to your ipod this month and make a 'work commute' playlist that will help you start your day with the right attitude. 3. Make time for friends - During January there is a tendency amongst most of us to want to stay indoors, huddle up under the duvet and drink endless cups of tea. While we're not against that at all (it might just be a favourite pastime for all of us), giving in to your hermit tendencies certainly doesn't help rid you of the blues. So although it seems like a huge effort to get up, get dressed and head out into the rain to see friends, do it anyway as good times and giggles will definitely leave you feeling happier. 4. Get glammed up - Ok so after too much partying over Christmas, the last thing you might want in January is to go out on the razzle dazzle, but even if it's just a wine and cheese party with the girls, we all love getting glammed up for the evening. And besides who said sparkle and stilettos are only for Christmas? Putting your new make up on and a posh frock will have you feeling like you again in no time. 5. Pamper yourself - a big part of the January blues for most of us is down to tiredness brought on after a super hectic end to the year. Put all those lovely lotions and potions you were given at Christmas to good use and give yourself a night (or a full day) of pampering. 6. Get plenty of fresh air - you know when your parents used to take you on long Sunday walks when you were younger and you hated them for it but you're now kind of coming around to the fact that they were on to something? Yup that's what we are talking about - put your wellies on, grab your dog/ husband/ kids and get a bit of fresh air in your lungs, unfortunately your parents were right - it's good for the soul. What are your tips for getting through the January slump? Tweet us @annalouoflondon, Follow us on Facebook or catch us on Instagram.

2013 Brand Highlights!

Can you believe 2013 is almost at an end? It's been a crazy but great year for the Anna Lou brand and although we are sad to see it go, we're all looking forward to whatever 2014 will bring! As a little farewell to this year and to thank all of our customers for their support over the past 365 days we've brought back some of our most loved pieces to the site and are offering you the chance to shop our bestsellers at reduced prices today. So if there was ever a jewellery item that passed you by earlier in the year, then this is your chance to grab it before it's gone! For your viewing pleasure we've also collated some of our 2013 brand highlights into a fun montage as a little reminder of all that the brand has achieved this past year! So without further ado, these were our 2013 moments (and please do share yours too!)... 2013 brand highlights January - We shoot our new look book and team up with the lovely Olivia Purvis as she becomes our 2013 brand ambassador. February - We launch our products in House of Fraser stores across the country. March - The ALOL brand goes global as we visit Tokyo for the first time! April - Anna Lou of London takes part in Jewellery Week and  we show our collections to a whole new set of jewellery lovers. May - The now much loved social tag necklaces launch online for the first time! June - We host our first blogger event and have a ball doing it too, with our 'Anna Lou gets personal' evening! July - Our bespoke 'design your own' service gets bigger and better than ever! August - We launch our new evening wear Luxe collection to much acclaim and our new fashion blog is born! September - We hit LFW and take part in the Handpicked Media suite with our new collection. October - It's Tokyo take two and the launch of our new younger collection - Miss Anna! November - Anna Lou of London products make up the goody bags at the Cosmo Blog Awards and we see our girl Liv Purvis take home the prize of best fashion blogger! December - Ahead of Christmas we launch our collection in Selfridges and host our very own design your own jewellery events! What a year! Do tell us what your highlights have been in 2013! We hope you all have a fantastic New Years Eve and celebrate in style - Here's to 2014 and all it brings!

Inside Anna's Stocking...

Inside Anna's StockingInside Anna's Stocking...

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas this week and are enjoying the holidays (eating plenty of mince pies) and gearing up for the new year celebrations! I had a great day with the family and despite the stormy weather it was the perfect Christmas! As something a little different on the blog this week I thought I'd do a more personal post and tell you what was inside my stocking this season. Santa was very good to me this year and brought me plenty of my most coveted items (thank you hubby) and these were a few of my faves: 1. An adorable lingerie set from Freya Lingerie 2. A new iPhone case from Lazy Oaf 3. A chic clutch from the Cambridge Satchel Company 4. The Anatomy of Fashion by Colin McDowell 5. A DIY gingerbread biscuit kit from Biscuiteers 6. My favourite scent - Chanel No. 5 7. Smokey Eye shadow set from Bobbi Brown 8. A pair of sprinkle socks from Happy Socks What did you get in your stocking? Send me a tweet @annalouoflondon and tell me all about your Crimbo pressies! Anna  

Anna's Christmas Playlist!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWKsDemzH58 The holidays are almost here and we're all in those last couple of working days before the Christmas period which let's face it hardly ever revolve around that much 'work'. At ALOL HQ we're busy packing up Christmas orders, gearing up for a big end of season sale (stay tuned!) and getting into the festive spirit by banging out our favourite Christmas tunes as loud as they will go in the office! We found this Christmas playlist on Youtube by Vevo and thought we'd share it with you so that you too can get into the mood on your walk/ drive/ cycle home this evening! Here's to a fab holiday season!

The Anna Lou Christmas Wreath!

How excited are you getting about Christmas? We can't believe it's only a few more weeks to go (15 days to be precise)! If you haven't started putting your decorations up yet then perhaps today's blog post can give you a little inspiration! This weekend the ALOL team worked hard at putting together a festive Anna Lou Christmas wreath to hang outside the door to our offices and above is the finished result! Doesn't it look fab? We're feeling suitable festive now and suddenly have the urge to decorate the whole office in tinsel (but we won't, for now). We took a quick snap of the wreath for our annual Christmas postcard so every time you order from the site this December you'll receive one of these fab postcards in your delivery to hang on your fridge, mantelpiece or bookshelf and get you in the holiday mood. We decorated ours with Anna Lou inspired pieces such as the Miss Anna character and bits and bobs of jewellery inspiration but you can add any sort of decorations to them and they are super easy to do. Keep them colour co-ordinated with red and green Christmas bobbles or add a little reindeer to say hello to the postman each morning, the choice is yours! Hope you all had lovely weekends too!

#AnnasAdvent - A treat a day for 24 days!

Can you believe it's the 2nd of December already? Us neither but we are definitely getting excited for Christmas now that the official December countdown has begun! To make the Christmas countdown even more fun and to help you save a few pennies in the run up, we are hosting an advent calendar like no other. #Annasadvent will open the door to a treat a day for 24 days! You can expect to see a different product discounted by up to 50% on the website every day from now until the 24th December. The discount will run for 24 hours only so you need to be quick to secure your favourites! We kicked things off yesterday with an almighty flash sale where everything was up for grabs at 20% off but starting from today you'll see a daily rotation of pieces at totally bargainous prices! Today it's the turn of the knotted stud earrings, available in gold, silver and rose gold options all with an amazing 50% off for today only! Buy them now while stocks last and stay tuned for another offer tomorrow!