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I love earrings, but I find it really tough finding earrings that aren't too heavy and which don't irritate my ears. Statement earrings have been all the rage for a couple of years now, but I haven't been able to join in. Not until now. I bought these earrings from a market stall a couple of months ago. They are very light and give a bit of a statement.

While wearing my new earrings from Esoteric London, I got to thinking about the history of earrings. Did you know that in ancient times, earrings were predominantly worn by men? And in ancient Rome, earrings were worn only by slaves while in ancient Greece, they were worn by prostitutes. In the 13th century, the Catholic Church forbade the piercing of ears; only thieves, pirates and lower class people continued to wear them.

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A few months ago, I was doing my food shopping in Sainsbury's when some denim dungarees called to me. Now, I hadn't worn dungarees in almost 20 years. Back in university I was quite a fan of overalls (as us Americans call them). They're so comfy, which is perfect when you're young and don't have a job. At first, I felt a bit apprehensive about trying them on. But they were so cute, I just had to buy them.

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Our house is slowly coming together. I'm taking my time with the kids' bedrooms and the living room, but the guest room is almost finished. I'm still waiting for the new desk and the shutters to arrive, but I couldn't wait to show you how it looks. Ta-da! This might not mean too much until you see the before photos. But the difference is huge.

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And when I say new bedroom, I mean NEW BEDROOM. We didn't just give it a lick of paint. We are nearing the end of a major home renovation project. There have been new windows, plastering, painting, new carpets and new furniture. I even switched bedrooms with my daughter. And as of yesterday, the bedroom was 95% finished (shutters are arriving in two weeks). So I thought I'd share the journey of our new master bedroom.

Like I said, the bedroom was originally my daughter's. The previous owners had painted one wall pink, and the door was painted black. Add crumbling plaster and green carpets that were about 30 years old, and the room was kinda disgusting. But no more (I wish I had more before photos, but the workmen started on the room earlier than expected).

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You know that I'm one of those people who puts time into their hair. I have naturally wavy hair, and I wash and straighten it every 2-3 days. I have a £100 hair straightener, but have always used fairly inexpensive hair dryers. So when the lovely folks from LanaiBLO offered me a hair dryer worth £99.99, I was intrigued to see what you get for that price.

First of all, I need to address the obvious. My hairdryer has my name on it. This is no coincidence. LanaiBLO offer personalisation on all their hair dryers (as well as three different colours: white, pink and black). How could I not get my name? You don't see Elfa on many things, so anytime there's an offer of personalisation, I take it. This costs an extra £15, but is totally worth it.

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In my 20s, I was obsessed with shoes and handbags. I spent my 30s thinking about things for my babies. Now, in my 40s, I'm all about my home (okay, okay, I still like shoes and handbags). So I was thrilled when I heard that West Elm was opening their second UK store in Kingston-upon-Thames. And I was even more thrilled to be invited to the grand opening on the 8th December.

Personally, I love mid-century modern. I like furniture to be comfortable and useful, but also interesting. West Elm is like my mecca. Even if you're not looking for big pieces, or if you have a small budget, you are able to find accessories here that add a unique feel. They have some amazing plates, mugs and Christmas decorations that are both vintage and modern and oh so quirky. And despite West Elm being a chain, it's not like you'' end up having the same armchair or mirror as half of your friends (I'm looking at you IKEA).

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Updating the Living Room with a New Sofa

We have been busy at Californian Mum HQ (by HQ, I mean my house). We are currently in the middle of home renovations. Although we have been having some major work done, we are also getting new furniture and giving the house a general update. Last month, we gave the living room a little update in the form of a new sofa and moving some furniture around.

Our previous sofa was brown and boring. It was also not very comfortable, even though it was only three years old. And the top cushions were in a constant state of sag. Also, after some calculations, I realised that we had had four brown sofas over the past 14 years. Husband really likes brown sofas. But I decided that I needed some colour in my life.

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There's something about August. It's technically still summer but thoughts have turned to autumn. And that means that I've started updating our autumn/winter wardrobes. And like most mums, I make the kids' clothes the priority. Besides our favourite places, I love trying out new shops. Preferably online, as that is where I do most of my shopping. So when Angel & Rocket got in touch, I couldn't wait to see their clothes in real life.

Moozles wears a lot of casual clothes. While her brother prefers shirts and bowties, she likes baggy dresses and shorts. But I knew she would love the Imogen Tweed Blazer and the coordinating Linzi Tweed Shorts and Tights. It is smart, but not fussy or frilly. The blazer is cut extremely well, and the shorts have a waistband making it perfect for those with smaller waists. While the blazer and shorts look great together, they would also look lovely separately.

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Last week was my 42nd birthday. And while it is not traditionally thought of as a significant birthday - I think all birthdays are special. So we packed the kids off to their grandparents for a few days, and Husband and I enjoyed the sites and restaurants of London. Regular readers may remember that we spent my birthday in York last year. We had so much fun, but this year we thought we'd enjoy the capital city.

On Friday, my actual birthday, Husband booked us a table at Bob Bob Ricard. It is a Russian restaurant, elegantly decorated. Rather than normal tables, they have booths, and each booth comes with a 'Press for Champagne' button. As you can imagine, it is a popular place for Champagne-lovers. As the restaurant is quite over-the-top, I wanted some dramatic make-up. One of my nieces works at Laura Mercier at the Bentall Centre in Kingston and she booked me in for a makeover.

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Summer is upon us. It has been so warm this past week, at least it has been in London and Surrey. I've finally packed away my winter coat and plan to wear summer dresses as much as I can. A few days ago I popped into the Woking Shopping Centre to purchase a new summer outfit for our holiday in France.

First stop was Debenhams. I love having a range of shops to choose from and Debenhams has some of my favourite brands, including Oasis and Warehouse. This brightly coloured midi dress is from the latter. Normally I choose looser dresses, but this dress was so pretty that I thought I'd be brave and get it. I'm so glad that I did. Yes, I have curves. At 41, I am finally not so embarrassed at my shape. I've teamed it with a cardi, as well as a t-shirt, making it perfect for those cooler summer days.

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