November, 2013

Nov 13

Find the BEST little black dress at the BEST price!

Jennifer Lawrence The little black dress is BACK (if it ever really went away!).  In the last week I have  seen the always stylish Jennifer Lawrence, Nicole Scherzinger and Caroline Flack all  out on the town rocking their LBDs!  With Christmas party season just around the  corner, the UK’s ladies are busy searching for the ultimate party frock!  Everyone  loves to buy a new dress for the festive season but with presents to buy and the food  shop to do, making the most of your money is more important than ever. However,  you can find your favourite gown without breaking the bank!

I just LOVE Secret Sales sites and at this time of year they are full of bargain little  black dresses and party outfits and accessories (including some gorgeous dancing  shoes!) for up to 80% off! These sites are particularly good because you are unlikely  to see someone wearing the same outfit as you.  It is like going to TK Maxx (which is  also FAB!), you have to search the rails but you might just find that one-off gem and  no-one else at the party will be in the identical dress!

In the last week I have seen Lipsy dresses on Brand Alley with 40% off and black  sequinned numbers from the gorgeously titled Pretty Dress Company with 60% off. had Christmas LBDs for as little as £29.  See, you can look like Eva  Longoria without having to wear a couture gown!  Just watch the dispatch date with  Secret Sales sites as you want it to arrive in time for your big New Year’s Eve party!

We should never be uptight about the supermarkets.  Although it might not feel as  special picking up your party dress from the aisles of Asda, you are guaranteed to f  find a bargain.  In fact, George at Asda is brilliant at the moment with some beautiful  party dresses starting at just £14. Tesco and Sainsbury’s are pretty good too.

Then on the High Street, M&S and Debenhams have had some great flash sales in the  last month and I expect there will be more as we get closer to Christmas.  Look out  for discount codes too – always google the name of your favourite store with the  words ‘discount voucher December 2013’ before you head out on your shopping  spree.

If you want something extra special this festive party season, why not hire a  designer gown or LBD.  Try who have thousands of dresses or and  Hire costs start at around £30 and  can go up to several hundred pounds if the dress is particularly special but with  Temperley and Stella McCartney dresses up for grabs, you might think it is worth it.


Nov 13

The Hoff, The Fonz and beating the ticket scammers!

My kids have started putting in their requests for which shows they want to see this Christmas.  Minnie (aged 7) LOVES her annual trip to the ballet and the rest of the kids ALWAYS enjoy a panto. Having a look through the list of pantos this year, I am always amazed at the celebs who are taking part.  Captain Hook in Nottingham this year is played by David Hasselhoff and Hook in Richmond is being played by none other than The Fonz, Henry Winkler.  It is silly and SO much fun!


I usually head online and start trawling the internet to find the best tickets at the best prices.  I have always been lucky and managed to get some real bargains but according to ticket site viagogo, I am one of the fortunate ones.  They say that a massive 4.7 million of us have been the victim of a ticket scam and a staggering £50 million was lost to ticket fraud between March 2012 and March 2013! Ouch!

According to their data, the most scammed events last year were big music concerts like Coldplay and One Direction and this Christmas popular shows like Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, the hilarious Book of Mormon (trust me, it is BRILLIANT but truly offensive!) and Snow White and Aladdin are already potential targets for scammers.

You are usually at biggest risk when trying to get tickets to a sold out show.  Your first port of call should be the venue to see if they have had any returns. If not, then gumtree and eBay usually have lots of tickets listed but beware of fakes and use common sense – never arrange to meet someone to exchange cash on your own.

One Direction

It is so important to exercise caution when using a search engine too. Just because a site comes out on top for a search for ‘One Direction tour tickets’ (not for me, honest!), it doesn’t guarantee that the company is legitimate or that you’ll get your much longed for seat in the arena! Check out every company by looking for feedback online or any complaints that people have made, especially in the press.

Finally, only buy tickets from websites that offer a guarantee. On sites such as viagogo, the seller does not get paid until the buyer has attended the event. If there is any problem with the tickets, it is the seller who will have to pay the price of a replacement or refund. Great system!

I have actually been really organised this year and already have my tickets to The Nutcracker. If you want to find out how to be first in line for the best shows in town, read my article on how to bag cheap tickets

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