M&S Woman with Lisa Snowdon : Spring Fashion Trends

Lisa Snowdon talks spring fashion trends and displays a few of her favourite key pieces from the Marks & Spencers range.

Freshwater Cove from Marks & Spencers

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Adbrite unlikely to pay “unsecured creditors”

I noticed the following image being passed around twitter recently and considered its content important to other former adbrite publishers like myself who have lost money.


The notice reads.

Notice to Adbrite Unsecured Creditors.

On January 23, the secured lenders to Adbrite foreclosed on all of the assets of AdBrite. By law, until the proceeds from the sale of assets exceed the amounts due to the secured lenders, no funds will be available to pay unsecured claims. At this point, Adbrite does not expect any funds will be available for unsecured claims. Adbrite will retain a copy of your unsecured claim and will notify you if any payment is anticipated.


I think publishers can take it as said they will not received payouts and I will not receive compensation for my bounced cheque.

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Adbrite continues to BILL advertisers but fails to PAY publishers

adbriteSince my latest cheque from adbrite bounced and they departed the industry leaving nothing but an Error 404 on their website I have been monitoring twitter for people who have lost out to adbrite. A number of advertisers have contacted me stating that the failed company is still trying to take money from their cards and are unable to cancel the service since the site is down and no one responds to their support queries. Although no one else has reported their latest cheque from adbrite bouncing several publishers have contacted me to relate the fact they have not received their payouts since December – and some are owed several thousand pounds in unpaid earnings. Again any attempts to contact adbrite for the last two months have gone unheeded.

I have attempted to contact adbrite for an explanation but have received no response. Many are calling their means of exiting the business  bad practice at least and fraudulent at most.  The fact they closed the site down so abruptly on the 1st February 2013 and left both advertisers and publishers in the dark regarding the status of their accounts is only testament to the depth of their financial problems. It is clear to me they have no money to pay their publishers – so it begs the question – where, exactly, did that investment from Sequoia Capital go? I am sure the founders of adbrite never found themselves out-of-pocket from the company’s failure. Unlike their publishers who face losing unpaid earnings to the tune of several thousand pounds or, in my case, facing bank charges for their bounced cheques.

Shameful adbrite, truly shameful.


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Final Cheque from Adbrite Bounces

Image representing AdBrite as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I have used adbrite occasionally in order to monetize some of my websites. Up until recently they have been OK. Late last year a cheque did not arrive and I reported it to adbrite who stated the cheque would be stopped and a new one issued in the following payment cycle. I waited patiently as I had never had any negative experiences before. Two months later I had received no word from adbrite regarding this matter so contacted them again and, at length, they replied. This occurred twice but, finally, I received notice the cheque had been stopped and my payment reissued.

I received my payment late December and banked it straight away after Christmas. It normally takes around a month to clear. I was expecting it to clear this week.

I then received the following correspondence through from adbrite via email.

Dear adBrite Advertiser,

Over the last few weeks, adBrite and its management have been evaluating the go-forward plan for the business. Given market conditions and certain financial liabilities, in working with our lenders, we have decided to cease operations on Feb 1, 2013.

This is a difficult decision for all of us at adBrite. However, after much deliberation this seems to be the best course of action despite the impact it will have on all the employees, clients and partners who helped build this business. There will be a team in place as needed to assist with winding down your campaign, and final reporting and invoicing.

Thank you for being part of the adBrite community.

The adBrite Team

I began to feel a little concerned. My cheque had not cleared and I had spotted one or two people complaining on twitter they had not received their most recent payment and customer services at adbrite were no longer responding.


Adbrite Cheque Unpaid & subsequent fee to myself

Today I logged onto my digital banking account to discover my December cheque from adbrite had bounced and caused me to receive an additional €25 in bank charges. I have emailed adbrite explaining the situation to them but given their earlier announcement do not expect them to honour their agreement – so am expecting no response. There is no telephone number on their website either. No surprise there!


Adbrite CEO Hardeep Bindra

AllThingsD reports the company has 26 employees who will be affected and, apparently, adBrite are in the process of selling off their assets. The article also states that the reason adBrite will be shut down is simply that an attempt to find a buyer was unproductive. According to CrunchBase AdBrite has raised a reported $40 million since 2004, much of it from Sequoia Capital. It was best known for many years as the creation of Philip Kaplan, who was well known during Web 1.0 boom for his FuckedCompany site. For many years the company described itself as the “largest independent ad exchange, rivaling Google and Yahoo.” Given my bounced cheque I would have thought the company had financial problems in recent times – as there no longer seems as much revenue to be paid in advertising of this kind. CEO Hardeep Bindra recently stated in an interview, Bindra says he had been trying to sell off the entire company (which is apparently what he was hired to do), but sales talks “unfortunately fell through a couple weeks ago.”

All in all, and given the situation, I would have rather not received any cheque at all, would have preferred adbrite to be honest about their financial situation and then, at least, I would not have had to pay €25 for the privilege of having a cheque from them bounce. Much better to not receive money than actual to end up losing more money because of dishonest dealings. As it turns out the total cost to myself was nearer €40 because I was also charge €15 for the presentation of the cheque in the first place! In this climate this is money I can ill afford to lose.

Update 1 February 2013: All attempts to contact Adbrite proved fruitless. Their website now shows an error 404 which effectively means they have gone I am afraid. I believe this means that any publisher partners with adbrite will NOT receive their final payouts. Let me know if, by some miracle, you do receive a payment! My loss is not as great as some however the bank charges I incurred as a result of their failure irks me considerably. I do feel for the staff who have lost their jobs. Always a shame when a business goes down – especially like this leaving so many out of pocket.

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What do you take in your purse for a night out on the town?

nighttime-bagI am one of those ladies who always like to be prepared when she ventures out for the night to a bar or club. Me and the girls emptied out our purses the other night to compare notes and, in doing so, we decided it would be really interesting to conduct an online survey of what girls (or guys if they wish to take part) consider to be essential items for a night out. A night out on the town deserves a glam bag. Most of us try to make sure you don’t pack everything including the kitchen sink into it – just have the bare necessities ready while you shine and sparkle through the evening

First off here were the contents of our night out purses.

1. Driver’s license – Bit of a no brainer largely because its your number one source of identity. It’s also important to have if you have to drive yourself home or you’ve become the designated driver.

2. Mobile Phone: Safety first girls! Always carry a mobile phone wherever you go on a night. Plus these are often great for taking photos of your night out for a keepsake or future blackmail.

3. Lipstick: Every girl in our group had at least one lipstick in their essential kit. Necessary for those touch up moments!

4. Emergency Touch Up Kit – Generally comprised of a little kit of powder foundation & eyeshadow . Although one of our group had the equivalent of her entire make up kit in her bag. A mirror is always handy too.

5. Washlets (Wet Wipes): Taking some wet wipes on a night out is a good idea when you consider the state of some night club facilities by the end of the night. Very useful! You can get them in a handy pocket size kit so they don’t bulk up your purse. Most of us were inspired to include these by the latest Clean Campaign from Andrex.

6. Plasters – Ever gone out in a brand new pair of shoes without them? If you´re intelligent you don’t do it twice! Great for sticking over a rubbed heal.

7. Folding Brush: Great for those winter nights on the town when its a bit breezy!

8. Chewing Gum: Cleans teeth and freshens breath! A must have in every girls or guys night out kit in my view…

9. Female Protection: This one goes without saying. Be aware. Be safe.

10. Tissues: Great item for smudged lipstick or tears. Many nights out usually involve coming across someone leaking from the eyes!

So, that was the summation of our essential kits, whats yours?

Glam Grunge: Smells Like High Fashion


Many people consider grunge to be a low point in fashion history, as the 90s rocker style went against the grain of conventionally beautiful aesthetics and in extreme measures, disregarded concern for appearance completely. However, at the time grunge had much going for it; youthful energy, rebellion, the shock factor and effortlessness, making the grunge comeback inevitable. Fast forward two decades and grunge has taken on a new form that has been adopted by some of tinsel town’s most high profile celebrities. ‘Glam grunge’ is grunge’s pretty younger sister; she’s influenced by her predecessor but has also learnt from her mistakes, and has emerged as something unique and spectacular….let’s take a closer look.

What is Glam Grunge?

As the name suggests, glam grunge is the marriage of the 90s rock aesthetic with more visually appealing elements, with the intention to be bold and unique (like grunge) but also beautiful. We are already familiar with some grunge elements as they have featured in millennium fashion, such as ripped and faded jeans, smoky eyes and printed tees, however this season sees the resurgence of the entire style (appropriated of course), and not just a few disparate essentials. Today’s glam grunge makes use of under biker jackets, plaid shirts either loose or tied at the waste, and flat ankle boots with bold buckles, zippers and laces.

Glam Grunge Style Tips from the Catwalk

The trick to glam grunge, as we have seen on the spring/ summer catwalks, is effortless layering. However, be sure to stick to lose yet styled items and not sloppy jerseys; you want to fuse edginess with carefree elegance and not look like you just rolled out of bed. Another glam grunge tip is to choose dark shades of colour that complement grays and blacks, and for a splash of white go for a white printed tee or a fur lined biker jacket. Dries Van Noten wowed onlookers with his interpretation of glam grunge: a gray oversized sweater effortlessly pulled over a deep purple print chiffon dress. Hair was tussled and lips were painted with a cherry tone, making for a bold and ‘unkept beauty’ look. For a tougher adaptation, opt for a leather jacket with plaid pants. Accessorise with scarves and belts, but be sure to maintain that nonchalant look.

Who’s Rocking Glam Grunge in Hollywood?

Judging from recent snaps, glam grunge has taking Hollywood by storm. Some of its proponents include Gwen Stefani (who has always been a pro at combining punk rock and tailored chic), the beautiful Jessica Alba, Ashley Olsen, Nicole Richie and Kate Bosworth. So does glam grunge still smell like teen spirit? No, more like high fashion!

Penny Munroe is an avid writer in fashion related news and tips, and enjoys educating her audience on the season’s hottest womens tops to everyday styling tips.

Scarlet Women Sizzle at the Critics’ Choice Awards

Red Dress At Crowne Plaza

The 18th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards ceremony was a star-studded event, and the stars came out in Santa Monica, posing for photographers and strutting their stuff on the red carpet. It was a red-letter day indeed, not only for the award winners, but also for those impressing the fashion world with the best ensembles. One of the top trends spotted at the Critics’ Choice Awards this year was the red dress, and several superstars were seen rocking ravishing ruby gowns in a variety of styles. Let’s take a look at some of these “scarlet women” and who they wore…

Jessica Chastain

The Best Actress award winner was a hit with fashion critics as well as film critics in a chic jewelled dress by Prada, with a stylish beaded bow at the back. Who says red-heads shouldn’t wear red? Jessica paired her gown with Jimmy Choo shoes, and jewels by Harry Winston. This was a red-hot look for Miss Chastain – too bad the shapeless Calvin Klein gown she wore to the Golden Globes was such a disappointment…

Helen Hunt

It’s hard to believe this gorgeous lady in red is nearly 50 years old – Helen Hunt looked ravishing in a floor-length red gown by Philip Armstrong. The sleek silhouette and high neckline were classically elegant, and subtle red lace panels at the waist and neck showed a little bit of skin – just enough to look sexy without being too revealing. Helen may not have claimed the title of Best supporting Actress at the Critics’ Choice Awards, but her fashion statement was a definite winner.

Sally Field

Here’s another lady who looks decades younger than her actual age – Lincoln actress Sally Field showed that even at 66, red is radiant if you wear it right. Simple and striking, Sally’s dress was less showy than an evening gown and more like a day dress – while it suited her, critics are hoping she’ll step up the glamour as awards season continues.

Kara Hayward

The 14-year-old Moonrise Kingdomactress stepped out in a little red wool number by Prabal Gurung, with a matching chiffon blouson overlay. Kara brought a bit of va-va-voom to the very vermilion outfit with a pair of black and silver Rupert Sanderson heels.

Kerry Bishe

This rising star looked radiant in a red silk chiffon gown with long sleeves and a fishtail skirt, created by Pamela Rowland. This modest buy gorgeous style choice by the Argoactress also proved you don’t have to bare it all to look beautiful.

As awards season gets into full swing and the Critics’ Choice Awards make way for the Golden Globes and the much-anticipated Oscars, the heat is on and we’re sure to see these ladies in red rise to the occasion!

Attached Images:

Nicky Warner is a London-based fashion blogger; she loves awards season, when the rich and famous put on their best gowns and designer shirts and take to the red carpet.

Men Keep These Tips In Mind Before Shopping for Women's Shoes

Shoes are the ideal gift for any woman. How many women can really resist the lure of sexy shoes, sitting neatly on the rack, waiting to be picked up?  If anything at all Sex and the City did teach the men of the world how indispensable shoes are to a woman’s life. It’s no wonder that most men think it as a stroke of pure genius when they set out to buy shoes for their wives or girlfriends.

Little do you realize that there is a method for buying shoes. There is a reason why women spend hours and hours in a shoe store. If you really want to gift shoes to the woman in your life, you have to know upfront that you can’t just gift any shoe. You need to be careful about your choice of shoes.  Picking the wrong pair will turn your gift into a classic example of ‘the best plans gone wrong’.

Here are some pointers which can prevent you from going fatally wrong on your shoe shopping spree:

Know the personality

Believe it or not but a woman’s personality has a lot to do with the kind of shoes she likes and she wears. A practical minded woman might not favor heels and stilettos as much as wedges and pumps, while a more glamorous personality might like her four inch heels to be nicely studded with semi precious stones. When you walk into a shoe store or browse online for shoes, keep the end recepient in mind.

Know the feet

If you do not know the shoe size of a woman, do not buy her shoes. It is quite rare to find the right shoe size, especially if you’re just guessing. If you pick the wrong shoe size there is no way your shoes are going to be viewed as an ideal gift. Talk to the sales person in the shoe store. Tell him or her how your girlfriend’s or wife’s feet are. Don’t be shy about it. You don’t have to tell anybody how you feel about their feet, just their physical appearance. Is her foot broad or slender? Are her toes apart or together? How defined is the curve of her sole? The salesperson might ask you a few other questions with an intention to direct you towards the right kind of shoes meant to fit the feet you described. 

Keep an eye out

Notice the small things about your woman. Does she linger at a particular shoe store longer than the others? Has she tried on a particular shoe and then put it back after looking at the price tag? Have you caught her snooping at a particular shoe in a window? There is nothing more wonderful than a man who takes notice of such things and then manages to gift wrap the shoe as an ideal surprise. There are also other pointers which might nudge you in the right direction. For example when you are in a crowded place, your woman might point out and say, “I love those shoes!” You know then that you have to buy a similar pair.

If you find any of the above too much to do and you still want to gift her shoes, just buy her a gift card from her favorite shoe store! She will love that gift as much as she would have loved a new pair of shoes!

Adam Livermore is the author of this post. He gives shopping advice through his posts. You can also check out his selection of high top sneakers on his website.