A Gift of Love from Pen Heaven

These days it is all about technology. Smartphones, Ipads, Apple watches, it seems we use our technology for everything, and that includes using them as our diaries, for our notes, writing blogs, emails and memo’s. And yet, even in these days when it seems that paper is so over, stationery is having a bit of a resurgence. Instagram is full of beautiful images of Notebooks and pens, gorgeous diaries and post-it notes, with #stationery and #stationerygeek being much used hashtags. Maybe we are not quite as modern as we like to think, and still love the feel of paper in our hands when it comes to our notes, our thoughts and our ideas.

With this in mind, Pen Heaven have come up with a beautiful range of gifts that are perfect for those who love the traditional written word. The company, founded in 2008, offer a comprehensive range of writing instruments and leather journals offering in-house engraving and embossing. This season, with Valentine’s Day firmly in mind, they have put together a gorgeous range of products that include the red leather Napoli journal that retails at £32.99 and is just stunning.


Napoli Leather Journal with Gold Heart £32.99 Click to visit Pen Heaven

For someone who loves to write, this is the perfect gift. For a start, it is beautifully made, in soft textured leather from Italy. The size of the book (Size: 13cm x 17cm) means that it is not too big, you could easily carry this in a large handbag or tote bag – useful if you are recording your innermost thoughts in it, or if you need to keep a notebook handy for blog thoughts or ideas. The cover has a gold leaf embossed heart on the flap, and the gold theme continues with gold gilded paper – a real touch of luxury.




The pages are superb quality, in Acid free plain paper. This could mean that as well as a journal or a notebook, this could also work as a small sketchpad. The tie ribbon fastening keeps your thoughts safe from sight and gives the book a very vintage, traditional feel. And, if you are giving this as a gift, you could, of course, write a message of love on the first page, adding to the special feel to what is already a really beautiful gift.


Pen Heaven have gifts for those with a love of traditional, beautifully made, items. To view their full range, click here.


Thank you Pen Heaven for the lovely gift and hand written card.






Benefits – Know your rights.


There are many reasons why your situation may change and you may need to claim benefits of some sort. Loss of job and income, being registered as disabled, having a child, finding a job but earning a low income, becoming a single parent or switching from full time to part time employment, all of the issues mentioned here could mean that you are entitled to some sort of financial support. There is no stigma attached to applying for something that you are entitled to, and may well have paid into over the years.

But finding out just what you can claim can be difficult. Filling in the forms, which seem to be the size of a phonebook and want to know just about everything can be daunting and off putting. Filling in forms incorrectly can lead to claims being rejected, and phone calls to the benefit office can face a long queue, automated responses and long periods of time placed on hold…and that is if you even know what questions you need to ask.

UK Benefits Guide is a website that might come in useful if you are applying for benefits, or a specific benefit for the first time. It has a comprehensive guide to most benefits, including child benefit, disability benefit  and benefits for low income, this should answer most of the questions you have. In case there are outstanding queries, issues arising, or if you just need to chat to someone about your situation, the site also has the most up to date contact information about different departments, including a direct contact number that you can use direct from the site.

A change in your personal situation can be a frightening and harrowing time, but it is good to know that there are places where you can get the relevant information and answers quickly and efficiently.


Styling tips for the older gent

It was Coco Chanel who said ‘…fashion only fades, style remains the same…’ and whilst I think she was probably referring to her own effortless, ageless style when she said this, I think this is true to everyone, male or female. As we get older we may become less fashion-forward with our choices, may not take as many risks, but we may discover our true style, and that is something that really lasts.

Men’s clothing brand Chums have recently been focusing on questions about men’s style, looking at whether you can comprimise to ensure that you are both stylish and comfortable. They asked me for my own style tips for men, specifically men who are no longer looking to follow fashion, but to achieve a real look combining style and personality. With this in mind, I’ve put together a few tips that might ensure sartorial elegance at any age.

Avoid looking at London Fashion Week Men

These looks are to be left on the catwalk, never to be spoken of again. Last week a friend informed me that Chanel says it is OK for men to wear head to toe yellow this season. It isn’t – over ripe banana is never a good look, even Eric Twinge added blue to the mix.


But do get inspiration from the celebs

Many of Hollywood’s best dressed celebrity males are now the wrong side of 50. A case in point is the delectable George Clooney. Clooney totally understands the rules of male grooming, he’s suave, smart and elegant. He also recognises the beauty of timeless pieces, a well cut blazer, a plain shirt, wearing black and grey together, and the fact that even on formal occasions, you don’t always need a tie.


It’s all about tailoring

One of the main comments made about Donald Trump in terms of his personal style is just how bad the tailoring is. Oversized suits, shabby loose cuffs, extra long ties, these all go to make one extremely slovenly look. Well fitted clothes make all the difference, trousers with slimmer legs, fitted blazers in a single breasted style, even a thinner, smaller tie can transform a look from a fail, to a pass with flying colours.

Step away from the Grecian

Men, you are so lucky! You are allowed to grow old gracefully and it is called distinguished. So step away from the Grecian 2000 and embrace the white and grey. Salt and Pepper hair is so sexy, just look at the aforementioned George Clooney, Richard Gere, Paul Hollywood, Philip Schofield, the list of silver foxes are just endless.  Think about it, would you rather be an ageing Elvis with ridiculous hair, or a suave stylish gent with a distinguished edge?

Richard Gere arrives at the UK Premiere of Arbitrage, at the Odeon West End, in Leicester Square, London.