Lifestyle Essentials: a few new products that we think are fab

Internet shopping has become second nature to many of us over the past year, but with such an abundance of choice, where do we start! Well, as ever, the good news is that the A&G team is here to do the hard work for you, so that you don’t waste time trawling the web for hours… and hours! One of the reasons we set up Annabel & Grace online magazine in 2012 was to share all those excellent ideas on lifestyle essentials that we find out about when chatting with our like-minded friends. So here is the latest eclectic selection…

Colourful alfresco dining

One of my absolutely most favourite ways of spending a summer day is having friends over for an alfresco lunch. Dappled sunshine, birdsong, fresh air, good food and a very large bottle of the palest blush rosé. Heaven. It’s also fun to dress the table and here we’ve used vibrant striped placemats from Gift Pop and bamboo tableware (currently on sale) from Anthropologie.

Use AR20 at the Gift Pop checkout to obtain 20% discount. BUY NOW

And how about some fab glassware? From left to right: Twisted Glass Tumbler, set of 4 £25 from OKA. Contemporary champagne flutes, set of 4 £40 from The White Company and the Tiger Lily enamelware Tumbler £28 from Fortnum & Mason.

Super effective collagen

Collagen is one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It’s also found in blood vessels, corneas and teeth. It’s often described as the glue that holds all these things together. The word comes from the Greek word kólla which means glue.

You can take collagen in various forms – powders, bars, chocolates, chews and in liquid form – and people do as it’s believed it keeps signs of ageing at bay, as well as being beneficial for your bones.

There is one brand, Ingenious Beauty, which uses a multi award winning, patented capsule which protects the collagen peptide from the destructive action of the stomach. It passes through the stomach undamaged and reaches the small intestine where 90% of absorption of occurs, making it 15 times more effective. No other collagen product in the world offers this advanced solution. In a 12 week clinical trial, their triple active formula was proved to significantly improve the quality of the skin of 98% of women tested. If you have ever thought about taking collagen, this could be the brand for you. Sign up for their newsletter and you’ll get 10% off. MORE INFO

In addition to table mats, Gift Pop is a good source for accessories such as the bags Annabel and I are using in these photographs. Use AR20 at the Gift Pop checkout to obtain your 20% discount.

The Flexifit & the midaxi

Great news – there is now a Flexifit non wired full cup bra. It has a lower neckline than the hugely popular Flexifit crop top (now available in eight colours btw), which is ideal if you are wearing a deeper v neck top. I could not do without these wire-free marvels now – they are soooooo comfortable, supportive (even my 38E’s), lightweight yet strong, breathable and I’ve machine washed mine endless times and they come out of the tumble dryer good as new. Can you tell I’m a fan? MORE INFO ON NEW BRA

Another brilliant buy I spotted while on the M&S website is this effortlessly chic summer dress. Perfect for those bakingly hot days (yes, am sure we’ll have more of those once this incessant rain stops!) and and a snip at £45. Available in sizes 6 – 24, it features on-trend polka dot fabric, and is cut to a regular fit and midaxi length. And in case you’re wondering, midaxi is a new length – a mix between midi and maxi hemlines. The fixed tie front belt gives you a very flattering shape. 100% viscose – a breathable fabric (see my how to keep cool article) SHOP NOW

Two more tips, this time from Annabel, before I go. First, the What3Words app. The developers have divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words. What3words addresses are easy to say and share, and as accurate as GPS coordinates. Free to download. READ MORE

Secondly, something to watch on TV when it’s raining – Clarkson’s Farm. I started watching this last night and even if Mr C. isn’t your usual cup of humour, do give it a go. It really is very funny indeed. 21 year old Caleb is the perfect foil for Jeremy and look out for dry stone wall builder Gerald. MORE INFO

Lots more top product recommendations can be found here