Shoe obsession – Melissa’s plastic fashion

If there is one brand of shoe I am more than a little obsessed with, it has to be Melissa’s. The Brazilian brand, that was founded in 1979, has managed to create ultra fashionable shoes with a total point of difference – they’re plastic. And not just any old plastic, the plastic of Melissa’s always smells like the sweetest and fruitiest Haribo’s imaginable. No wonder I’m totally in love with them.

LADY DRAGON 11 WESTWOOD Pearl / Red  £ 143.99 click to visit Spartoo

LADY DRAGON 11 WESTWOOD
Pearl / Red
£ 143.99
click to visit Spartoo

I first fell under the spell of Melissa when I saw their collaboration with Vivienne Westwood. My first pair was a Mary Jane style in black mock croc. I was shocked at how comfortable they were, and just how pretty they looked. Since then I have got another two pairs of Westwood/Melissa collaborations, as well as a pair of  iconic Lady Dragon’s that were a collaboration with Jason Wu. They are the shoes that I have worn to fashion shows, special occasions, Style Birmingham Live, basically any event where I have dressed to impress. They seem to elongate the legs, add height, and just make me feel ultra glamorous.

Wearing my Red Melissa's at the Harvey Nichols fashion show

Wearing my Red Melissa’s at the Harvey Nichols fashion show

Shoe giant Spartoo currently have an amazing range of Melissa plastic shoes. They have a wide variety of styles, from the Floret with it’s ultra thick wedge style heel, to the Incence Garden, which has a beautiful floral design on the back that calls to mind Charlotte Olympia. There are also new variations on the Lady Dragon’s, including more fabulous collaborations with Vivienne Westwood.

LADY DRAGON 11 WESTWOOD Aurora Purple  £ 140.99 click to visit Spartoo

LADY DRAGON 11 WESTWOOD
Aurora Purple
£ 140.99
click to visit Spartoo

INCENCE GARDEN Black  £ 96.99 click to visit Spartoo

INCENCE GARDEN
Black
£ 96.99
click to visit Spartoo

FLORET Stone  £ 83.99 click to visit Spartoo

FLORET
Stone
£ 83.99
click to visit Spartoo

LADY DRAGON CLUSTER Black  £ 91.99 click to visit Spartoo

LADY DRAGON CLUSTER
Black
£ 91.99
click to visit Spartoo

What I really love with the current range of Melissa shoes is that there are also some great flat styles available, and (squeal!) sandals and flip flops – just in time for holiday season. I have my eyes on a beautiful pair of Harmonic Links Westwood in gold glitter which I think would offer perfect poolside glamour.

 

HARMONIC LINKS WESTWOOD Gold Glitter  £ 55.99 click to visit Spartoo

HARMONIC LINKS WESTWOOD
Gold Glitter
£ 55.99
click to visit Spartoo

HARMONIC 11 JASON WU Blush  £ 41.99 click to visit Spartoo

HARMONIC 11 JASON WU
Blush
£ 41.99
click to visit Spartoo

ULTRAGIRL 11 ORB COIN WESTWOOD Red Rose  £ 93.99 click to visit Spartoo

ULTRAGIRL 11 ORB COIN WESTWOOD
Red Rose
£ 93.99
click to visit Spartoo

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Save the Cyberworld with Bletchley Park and McAfee

As a parent with a child who is just starting to enjoy the benefits of the internet, one of my biggest fears is online safety. From chat-rooms and forums where people are not who they claim to be, to the hacking of passwords. From the transference of viruses that can lead to everything on your hard-drive being wiped out, to drive-by downloads that you don’t even know have occurred, the using of the internet by the young is just such a minefield. But help is at hand.

Anti- Virus giant McAfee have formed a brilliant educational partnership with Bletchley Park, home of the Enigma code-busters and the birthplace of modern computing. Bletchley and McAfee are working together to educate children of the dangers that can be faced when using the internet. Bletchley is currently developing an International Cyber Security Exhibition and Computer Learning Zone within it’s new visitor centre, and McAfee is collaborating, bringing together two organisations highly committed to keeping people of all ages safe online. McAfee and Bletchley say “..Children and adults will be able to learn how the breathtaking achievements of the WW2 Code-breakers are relevant in today’s war against cyber threats.”

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Bletchley Park

This is all exciting stuff, and now McAfee and Bletchley are offering an amazing competition opportunity for children aged 8-11 to be part of protecting cyberspace for now and future generations.

Can you design a next-generation superhero to protect the online world from cybercrime?

Bletchley and McAfee want children aged between 8 and 11 to design a new superhero, one who would be adept at keeping cyberspace safe for all. This superhero would become the mascot of the Bletchley Park/McAfee partnership…but that is not all. The child who creates the winning mascot will be awarded a visit to Bletchley Park for their entire school class when it opens this Summer.

First Prize for the winning child also includes:

A visit to your classroom from a McAfee cyber security expert, as an introduction to your visit to Bletchley Park.
Cybersecurity capes for the whole class, to wear at Bletchley Park.
The chance to see your cyber security superhero brought to life on our website – helping children and teachers stay safe online.
10 copies of McAfee LiveSafe software for your school.

Children awarded 2nd and 3rd place will be provided with McAfee LiveSafe software for their school.

What an amazing prize this is, a wonderful opportunity for your child and their whole class to do something amazing, and worthwhile too.

Could your child design their own super hero?

Could your child design their own super hero?

The competition is open now until 5pm on Friday 20th June. You can check out all the information, terms and conditions, and how to enter here.

This is a collaborative post to help promote a competition.

My first Swimwear review – Lascana from Swimwear 365

When I attended the Look Again press event in February, I was really impressed by the swimwear brand Swimwear 365, who were also exhibiting their Spring/Summer range for 2014. I loved the fact that this was both a super stylish, but also inclusive, swimwear brand, with sizing going from a size 6 to a size 34, and cup sizes AA to K. I also loved the opportunity to mix and match pieces, so that you had the opportunity to find the perfect swimwear, whatever your body shape, or personal preference. But mostly, I loved the fact that there were swimming costumes that were sexy and sleek, for those of us who wouldn’t be seen dead in a bikini – i.e. ME!

Swimwear 365 very kindly gave me the opportunity to review a piece from the current range, and I was both really happy – I have a Summer holiday coming up and could definitely do with something new and stylish for around the pool. But I was also a little frightened – I am most definitely plus size, not the most body confident, certainly not toned and tanned. Would I really feel confident enough to post a picture on my blog of me in the said swimwear – after all, the best reviews show you what the item actually looked like on?

LASCANA Navy Ruched Swimsuit £49 click to visit Swimwear 365

LASCANA Navy Ruched Swimsuit £49 click to visit Swimwear 365

The swimsuit I chose just oozes glamour. From Lascana, the navy ruched swimsuit is one designed to enhance the body. With sequined beaded detail adding to the poolside glamour, and the ruching panel to help keep my jelly belly in place, this was a swimsuit I fell in love with from the image and description. I also loved that it wasn’t black, I liked the idea of accessorising with gold sandals.

DSCN7038[1]This is a really lovely swimsuit. I went for a size 18d (how great that you can choose both size and cup!) and felt it was a good fit. The panel at the front holds the stomach in and is really comfortable to wear, rather than feeling restrictive. The shoulder straps make a lovely change from the halter neck designs that often proliferate in swimwear, and they are both sturdy (always great with a bigger bust) and adjustable. The bust has a slight padding which again offers great level of support.  This is a costume that makes you feel glamorous, and because of that pretty sequined detail, you could just add some denim cut-offs and head to the bar.

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Swimsuit – £49 Swimwear 365
Sarong Lands’ End (view current season here)
Sandals Dorothy Perkins (now £8.10 click here)

This swimsuit is really easy to accessorise, the lovely navy shade will look great against an array of colours, from white to gold, and red to silver. I added a bright coloured sarong and gold flip-flops which I think look good against the deep and vibrant blue. And, because this is meant to be a beach look – I went bare-faced, just as I do at the beach!

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This swimsuit comes in a more classic black shade if this is more your choice. (You can view this colour way here.) Lascana also have a wider range of swimwear which is well worth a look if your choice of swimwear veers towards poolside glamour rather than sporty styles.

With thanks to Swimwear 365 for the lovely swimsuit.

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