20 May 2014

Haworth 1940's Weekend

This weekend, my mam, grandma's and I went to the fabulous Haworth 1940's Weekend. We went for the full day on the Sunday and were blessed enough to have red hot weather. We drove - just under a couple of hours in the car for us Teessiders - and the place was already buzzing when we got there.


It was a bit awkward to find a parking space initially as parking places were quickly filling up and you were already heading down a tight road before you found the car park was full, however, we soon found a space and headed over to the park nearest to where we were, which was full of lovely stalls and an already bustling beer tent. I was impressed with how many people had gotten into the spirit and dressed up. Many looked like they came year on year in their beautiful chosen ensembles, pristine forces uniforms, tailoring and parasols  - it really seemed like you'd stepped back in time. People held themselves differently and seemed to speak and act in a more gentile manner. Everyone seemed so elegant and refined with beaming smiles, dancing and music everywhere we went that day. My Grandma's remarked that although people had just endured another awful World War at this time, the spirit was a positive one, captured and reflected well by the Haworth Weekender. Chin up and crack on. I think we could all learn from that attitude today, but sadly some people don't seem to know how to help themselves or one another in the same way anymore. 

Most of the businesses that were open had adopted a 1940's theme, menu or costume to get "In The Mood" (see what I did there?)  My favourite shop was Rose & Co Apothecary. They sell bath products in the shape of sugar mice and cupcakes and gentleman's shaving products amongst tons of other stunning gifts and treats, but my absolute favourite part was the bit stocking the ever fabulous Stop Staring dresses. They're not cheap but they're beautifully designed and made, and really fit with the vintage revival we all love so much. I'm saving for one when I'm out of my preggy clothes - I'm just gutted they don't do maternity or kids wear! 

We relaxed on a bench whilst a chap sang and played trumpet on the back of an army truck. This picture by a nice bloke called Jason Bowers was of this lovely part of the day!

One of the nicest people we encountered that day was a nurse who was dressed as a WW2 nurse. She spent a while chit-chatting with us and telling us some really interesting stuff about her uniform and  adjustments that were made from the original uniform in WW1. I could have listened to her all day. 

Hopefully we'll go back for this wonderful weekend next year. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone.

5 May 2014

Arbonne - is it really as bad as it sounds?

To many, Arbonne - a premium health, cosmetics and skin care brand, is suspicious and untrustworthy.   You only have to type Arbonne into the internet and there's so many people wanting to bad mouth this company so what have they done that's so wrong? 

I was first told about Arbonne by some friends. Genuine friends at that, who would never mug me off or try to commit a daylight robbery. My husband and I have known them for years and we are as close as family members so I had and still have no reason to doubt a word they say. A couple of members of their family and their friends had signed up to become what is known as an 'Independant Consultant' as a side-line that would hopefully perhaps become a lucrative earner whilst they carried on with their normal lives and therefore didn't jeopardise anything they were already doing. These people had put some money into this but only out of choice and as you would any serious business opportunity. When they told me about it, the main thing I was interested in was the make up range. Which girl wouldn't be?  I thought I'd give it a whirl and support them, perhaps in the same way people buy Avon from their friends/family and collagues. The mascara and lip gloss I bought were some of the best products I've ever purchased - the lip gloss was a beautiful, strongly pigmented berry colour and the mascara was hands down the best mascara I've ever used. I'll hopefully do a proper product review on them soon so you can see them for yourselves if you so wish.

Back to the point...
Whilst I was happily using these products I googled Arbonne, just to learn a bit more about the brand, its history and to see more products that I would fancy trying. What I found by looking at links other than the Arbonne site itself, was a lot of vitriolic, knee-jerk reactions from some people that didn't seem to grasp the concept  properly or had been tricked by less than trustworthy people into signing up to be a Consultant when they didn't understand the full picture of the business. From the get-go, my friends had been transparent about their involvement and what you did or did not have to do. My understanding at the end or it was that it was a premium Avon, with the incentives it offered 25 years ago...lavish gifts, holidays, good money and a less saturated market. Oh and no door-knocking. Having actually looked at being an Avon Rep myself last year, the lady who rang (repeatedly) to give me more information and then turned up at my door one night with brochures was passive aggressively coercing me into joining. Nobody seems to be on the same witch hunt about Avon, even though it's the same kind of package. Maybe because it is a familiar name to people so they are less intimidated by it? Of course I was guilty of reading all these reviews on forums but my conclusion was still the same - that irresponsible people are misselling what could actually be a perfectly good opportunity. It shouldn't be sold as a get rich quick scheme but sadly that's what some people are doing and even if you could get people involved under those sketchy terms, that is a shaky and not very sustainable way to grow a business, no matter how seductive at the outset.

Because I'm so obsessed with  the mascara and lippy I'm considering signing up myself, but rather than do the approach that people are recommended to do, I've decided that I'll take the slow and steady approach if I do opt in, and order things I'll use rather than lots of expensive stock. Anything else is a bonus really?  After all, business is something you need to invest in if you want to make big money quickly, but it's not the only way.