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The Ultimate DIY Mother's Day Hamper

As you may have heard us mention a few times, Mother’s day is very fast approaching. For those who haven’t quite got around to it yet (eek pull your finger out), now is the time to turn your mind to one of the women you love the most. This year, instead of the half wilted flowers and slightly rubbish card, why not go for something a little bit special with the ultimate DIY Mother's Day Hamper. This is something you could even do with your own little ones on a rainy afternoon with little else for entertainment.  The Photo Album We all know how much Mum’s love to wander back down memory lane with the aid of a sentimental photo album. Find or buy a notebook and get creative! You can cover with sequins, make glitter hearts or even get funky with some florescent paint! Pull together some silly photos of you both from years gone by, and with a little bit of prit stick, some page decor and some cheeky annotations, you have yourself a cheap yet charming home made photo album. The Biscuits Because which Mummy doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Baking a batch of biscuits is a lovely and simple task that will leave your house smelling gorgeous and will be a lovely home-made treat to accompany Mummy’s afternoon cuppa! Wait for them to cool before putting into a clear cellophane bag and finishing with a ribbon. Here’s a recipe for some exceptionally scrummy custard and white chocolate biscuits! The Necklace that Says it all Although time’s run out to order a bespoke piece, there’s still just about time to really show her you love her with one of Anna Lou’s ‘Love you’ pieces. This necklace is one of our favourites. The Decoration Cover an old shoe box in wrapping paper (you knew you’d use it one day!), plump up with some tissue paper and fill with your goodies! The perfect Mother’s Day Hamper from the perfect daughter!

Choose it, Style It, Shoot it... The Love Necklace by What I Bought Today

We're loving an all gold jewellery look at the moment and it seems one of our blogger ambassadors, Anneli of the blog What I Bought Today is in agreement. We asked her to style up one of our most popular necklace designs, the love necklace, and along with some of our gold stacking rings she's put together a great easy weekend look. She's made double denim look pretty damn stylish and the gold tones of her jewellery compliment the subtle shades of her outfit perfectly. Read more about Anneli's styling tips below... The Love Necklace by What I Bought Today What I bought Today Love NecklaceLove Necklace by What I Bought Today"I am so into gold at the moment; layered, dainty, statement and unique styles are my current favourites and I love anything personalised." "I was so pleased to be asked to be one of the blogger brand ambassadors for Anna Lou of London! So much of the range is right up my street, and fits perfectly in together with my existing jewellery. I chose the dainty ‘Love' chain, which looks great together with other gold pieces on my wrists and hands, to complement the overall look" Love Necklace by What I Bought TodayWhat I Bought Today gold jewellery"I also adore the more chunkier gold trio ring, which I layered together with two simple gold rings. It’s all about adding your own touches to your jewellery." Love Necklace by What I Bought Today"I'll be wearing my Anna Lou of London pieces stacked, layered or on their own - simple pieces go with everything." We're also pretty pleased to have Anneli on board as a brand ambassador. To see the full post and get more tips on how to style this outfit, check out her feature here. All images courtesy of What I Bought Today. Thank you to Anneli for the short interview.

Get the Look: Spring Outfit Inspiration

This time of year can sometimes be the most difficult to dress for. It's not quite warm enough to thrown on a summer dress and lose the coat, yet with the sun shining down on us we want to feel suitably Spring- like. So as always we're looking to our favourite celebs for some spring outfit inspiration on what to wear during this transitional period. These are some of our favourite ways to look Spring ready without being caught out should the heavens open. get the look, spring outfit inspiration Add some florals a la Gisele Bundchen Ditch those black and grey skinny jeans and embrace a floral trouser or pastel print denim. Being a trouser you don't need to brave bare legs just yet, yet you give a nod towards summer trends. get the look spring outfit inspiration Inject a pop of colour a la Reese Witherspoon No need to move away from the monochrome colours completely but by adding an electric hue you can turn your everyday office look into the perfect transitional outfit. get the look celebrity spring outfit inspiration Go sheer a la Allison Williams Nothing says Spring ready better than a smart but sexy sheer white shirt. It's the perfect transitional piece as it works for day and for evening, throw on a pair of courts with your smart trousers and you are ready for cocktails after work. get the look spring outfit inspiration Dress up your denim a la Karolina Kurkova It's the oldest trick in the book but denim is your best friend during the season change. A pair of distressed boyfriend jeans will look great with flats and a comfy sweater at the weekend and equally as good with heels and a blazer for week day meetings. Layer a warmer coat over the top of your blazer for added warmth. What's your go to style during this transitional period? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @annalouoflondon or following us on Facebook.

Join us at our ALOL Focus Group

Would you like to have your say in how the Anna Lou of London brand can be improved? Do you have a great creative eye for packaging and design? Maybe you're a whizz when it comes to website usability and technical know how? Maybe you have a passion for jewellery and accessories? or maybe you're simply an Anna Lou customer and can offer us some tips on how we can improve your shopping experience? Blogger eventEither way we'd love you to join us at our ALOL focus group on the 12th April. Focusing on product, website usability, imagery, packaging and customer service, we'll be inviting a small group of people to our new showroom in Battersea to discuss the next steps for the brand and to get your input on our ideas. To make sure it's a fun afternoon and not 'all work and no play', we'll be treating you to a lovely British tea party with drinks, cakes, a chance to meet the team behind the brand and hear from some of our experts. You'll have the chance to view our new collections first hand, have a chat with Anna and you can leave feeling that you've had a strong input into the direction of a growing fashion jewellery label. As if that doesn't sound fun enough, to thank you for giving up your time and helping us improve, everyone who attends will also get to leave with a £100 gift voucher for the site in their back pocket! Wowza! Sound like something you'd be interested in? Email [email protected] to register your interest, describing why you'd be keen to attend and someone will be in touch to let you know whether you've been given a spot. We look forward to welcoming you! Please note: The focus group will last around 3 hours so please make sure you are able to commit to the whole afternoon before emailing.

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.  

Back To Work Outfit Inspiration...

After all of the sparkle, sequins and colour that surrounds our outfits over the festive season, heading back into work wear territory come January can seem, well, a little dull can't it? It's easy to get stuck in a style rut (don't we know it) and reach for those easy black and grey pieces and comfort clothing on a cold January morning. But as we all know, a good outfit can do wonders for our mood, confidence and demeanour so even if its cold and dark outside and you are only going to the office, making a little more effort with your work outfits can really make all the difference to getting through January unscathed. So here at ALOL we are aiming to 'dress up' a little more for the office  and so far its been great fun! We thought we'd share some of our back to work outfit inspiration, the best celebrity and street style looks of course, which we've been gathering like crazy over on our Pinterest board of late. back to work inspiration We've been getting inspired by the likes of Poppy Delevigne and Miroslava Duma and below are our style tips on how to make more of your work wear this year: 1. Keep it masculine - we all love feminine looks but lets be honest, they do take more effort. If your version of work wear at the moment is jeans/ trousers and comfy shirts/ knits then you don't need to stray too far from that. Masculine styles can look sharp and totally chic as long as the cuts are right. Add at least one more girly piece such as the fur stole in the first look above, a statement necklace or a bright scarf and your look will be far from boring. 2. Add a fun print - Poppy Delevigne's jeans and blazer look above is nothing special but the polkadot print of the trousers makes this look stand out and seem far more creative. We also love the embroidered panel of a plain pencil skirt as seen above or a simple polkadot silk shirt as worn by Clemence Poesy. Easy to do, yet makes a true statement. 3. Inject some colour - Ok so not all of us could pull of Miroslava Duma's cobalt blue suit, but adding an injection of a bright colour like this will both lighten your mood and give you a lift in the style stakes. Not brave enough to do a coloured suit? Try a bright scarf or necklace or even a pair of colourful heels underneath a plain suit. 4. Stick with the classics - classic accessories will always update a more plain work uniform, and it also means you don't need to spend loads buying new season pieces. Whatever you wear, add a classic yet chic bag, and the jewellery you feel comfortable in and you'll instantly feel more confident at work. 5. Choose your empowering item - everyone has one thing which can give you that air of confidence even on the worst of bad hair days, whether its a slick of red lippy, your favourite sparkly heels or just a pendant that means something to you. On those days when you wake up tired and reluctant, throw this on and make it a great day! What gives you confidence at work? Do you have any tips for making back to work less dull? Tweet us @annalouoflondon or follow us on Facebook here.

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.

Ask Anna - Jewellery Styling Tips #3

Our Saturday style sessions continue with more 'Ask Anna' jewellery styling tips today. We really hope you've enjoyed reading these posts as much as we've enjoyed doing them, it's so great to hear from our customers and Anna really loves playing style advisor every Saturday morning so please keep those questions coming! If you've missed our last few posts then allow us to fill you in; throughout November, every Saturday Anna has been offering up her best tips and tricks on how to wear your jewellery, what to style it with and how to avoid those jewellery faux pas, by answering some of the questions as sent in by you, our customers. We have one more Saturday style session to come next week so if there is anything you need to know from an established jewellery designer then now is the time to ask it! Drop Anna an email or Tweet us (all details at the bottom of the post) and we will be your fairy godmothers this Christmas! Back to today though and Anna is here to talk about how to achieve that coveted 'arm candy' look. Q) What are your top tips for wearing the #ArmCandy trend? ANNA) This season is the perfect time to experiment with wearing several bracelets at a time. The coveted #armcandy tag has become bigger than ever and piling up your wrist jewels has never been so popular, but getting the look right can be tricky. The trend really began in the blogosphere with the likes of Leandra Medine from Man Repeller so to get some great inspiration we always recommend stalking the instagram accounts of your fave fashion bloggers, but of course ours is pretty great too so give us a follow here and we promise we will have lots of #armcandy inspo for you. But back to the styling. It's really important to still be aware of patterns and sizes etc. Ask yourself questions like "Do these colours really go with each other?" and "Is this all so heavy that it might become annoying?!". There is much more to the #armcandy trend than just throwing all of your fave bracelets together in one. In the same way that you need to make sure your accessories fit with your outfit, your jewellery needs to work together too. As I suggested with my tips on layering jewellery, which you can read about here, it's best to establish your theme first. Once you have a 'look' you want to go for, finding the right colours and styles will be easier. With #armcandy it's ok to mix your metallics so don't be afraid to put silver and gold together but just make sure they are broken up with flashes of other colours and varying sizes. I always think that a few non metal pieces can be great to break the look up such as rope friendship bracelets or neon acrylics. Oh and lastly, quality counts. Always wear quality bracelets as overly cheap and tacky ones will look gimicky. Still unsure? Don't worry as on my site we've done the hard work for you - check out my ready made Arm Candy Sets here. Or if you prefer to create your own style, you can Mix and Match here. Don't forget to show us your style too, tag your instagram #armcandy with #annalouoflondon and if we love it we may even feature you on our site!   Thanks to Anna for another great style session. We're back next week with our final 'Ask Anna' installment so make sure you tune in but in the meantime you can email [email protected] with any Q's or tweet @annalouoflondon with #askanna.  

Gift Ideas – Engrave your jewellery for Christmas!

There is now less than two weeks left to order bespoke items on our site in time for Christmas delivery so we thought it would be the perfect time to give you a few gift ideas and some tips on how to engrave your jewellery this Christmas! While jewellery is always a wonderful gift, personalised jewellery is even better. Showing someone you care with a unique message, favourite date or just remembering that silly nickname they had as a kid – what could be more special? Husbands/ boyfriends/ partners take note – we promise she won’t be disappointed if you not only buy that piece of jewellery she has been hinting at for weeks, but also go to the trouble of engraving it too! You are on to a winner! So how do you choose your message for engraving? Seeing as at Anna Lou of London we have been creating bespoke jewellery for a good few years we’ve seen it all so these are a few suggestions for how to choose your message.
  1. The Nickname – Ok so this can be a little risky as if it’s a nickname they merely tolerate but aren’t entirely happy with will they want it forever engraved on their beloved piece of jewellery? Our vote is to go for something playful, an endearing name you’ve coined that always raises a smile, rather than a childhood nickname they may have hated.
  2. The Memorable Date – engraving a date can be a great way to commemorate a special moment and the best part is that it’s a private message between the two of you. While the wearer will always feel the connotations of that day when wearing the jewellery, to the outside world it’s still a mystery. Choose anything from wedding days to children’s birthdays to the day you first met!
  3. The meaningful message – everyone has a phrase or saying that means something to them. Whether its a well known speech by one of the worlds greats or a quote from a Disney film doesn’t really matter, if it’s special then it’s worth it.
  4. None of the above – of course you don’t have to follow our suggestions at all, we’ve engraved everything from pets names to favourite tweets to song lyrics in the past so even if it’s quirky, ridiculous or both, get in touch and we’ll be happy to oblige!
Order your bespoke piece online and choose from our existing range of engravings here or simply email [email protected] with your request and we will do our best to meet your requirements! Don’t forget get your orders in before the 13th December for Christmas delivery!

Ask Anna - Jewellery Styling Tips #1

Over the next four weeks, Anna will be sharing some of her top jewellery styling tips by answering the questions asked by you! We took to the Twitter-sphere and asked you, our fans and customers, to send in your questions on anything from design, to style advice to crazy jewellery myths that needed debunking with the promise that Anna would deliver her expert opinion. And boy did you answer our call, over the next month we will be sharing our favourite questions along with Anna's top tips and advice. First up this week, Anna talks oversized jewels and how to overcome the fear of big seeming too big. ASK ANNA Q) I’m scared of wearing big jewellery. What do you suggest I do get over that? ANNA'S A) Big jewellery can be scary. It's bold, suggests 'look at me' and can seem overpowering at times. But it can also make a great statement and it all depends on how you wear it. Try a chunky, bright, abstract, 3-D design in your favourite colour to compliment a simple outfit. Down playing the rest of your style is really key here, you need to let the statement piece do the talking so if you do wear other jewellery make sure it compliments your large item. Wear with a simple t-shirt and jeans or a classic LBD and don't only save bold necklaces for evening or party wear, show them off day-to-day too. Your outfit should be comfortable and simple, but the necklace will help to dress it up and draw attention to your excellent style! Try these few pieces to get the look, and I'm sure before you know it you will be embracing the mantra; 'the bigger the better'. Do you have a burning question about jewellery design? Need some style advice ahead of the party season? Anna can help, email her at [email protected] or tweet us using the hashtag #askanna We will be back next Saturday with the next style question.