Rabu, 29 Juli 2009

A Bit of a Moment (a.k.a. mummy is having a mini meltdown)

There just isn't enough hours in the day sometimes.

I have no time today to finish writing the post I had planned and I am freaking out a little over the party preparations I am supposed to be doing for Annabel's birthday party on Sunday. 

 My youngest Princess, Annabel Jade, frolicking on the beach. 

There is sooo much to do and even though there is only going to be 8 little princesses attending this soirèe, I am going out of my mind with all the preparations!  List after list is being written up so I don't forget a thing.  Being as prepared as I possibly can is the only way to avoid disaster at this point.

And so I am going to take a deep breath, let it out slowly and get on with it - because this is not about moi.  This is about Annabel and making wonderful memories of childhood with her.


I shall begin by taking some advice from a friend:

or even better...

Thanks Mrs B. xx

Wish me luck!


Sources: Ffffound!

Selasa, 28 Juli 2009

A Scarf for all Seasons

Recently a friend asked me for some fashion advice.  She is planning a winter holiday to Europe and wanted to know what type of scarf she should look for.  I love hearing travel plans because I get to live vicariously through my single friend's lives!  Winter in Europe is nothing like winter here in Australia or New Zealand.  For most of the winter here, it is wet and windy and the snow fields... well, lets just say that I'm sure our slopes are the main reason why snow makers were invented.  Europe is a real winter wonderland with powder snow and there is always enough snow on the ground to make your own snowman. 

A very funky Alexander McQueen silk skull scarf (try saying that 3 times very quickly!)

Hands down, the scarf is my favourite accessory.  I love to knit myself a new scarf every winter because it gives me an excuse to lounge in front of the fire for hours and also the sense of achievement I feel when I finish my scarf is like no other (that's because I am unable to follow a pattern and knitting in straight lines is the best I can do!) 

 Freha gets it right.

I want to tell you a little story about an experience I had with wearing a scarf.  Some years ago, I was on my way to a job interview and I had tied a silk scarf around my neck to zjusz up my outfit.  But I wasn't happy with the way I had tied the scarf, and instead of listening to my instincts and taking the scarf off, I went ahead and wore it anyway.  I felt so uncomfortable during the interview, that I still believe I did not get the job because my confidence was so shaken - all because I didn't know how to tie my scarf.  I vowed to myself that I would learn how to tie scarves properly.  I promise you, if your scarf is tied properly, you will feel more confident which as we all know enhances our natural beauty - what more could a girl ask for?
Sometimes it is good to look at how other people are wearing their scarves - this helps to get ideas on different ways to tie yours.

I took this attitude with me when buying a ubiquitous sarong in Ubud when hubby and I were on our honeymoon.  I made a point of having the store owner show me how to wear and tie my sarong in the local fashion.  I remember so well the knowing looks I received from the local women because I was wearing their national dress in the correct fashion, it made me feel distinctive.

By doing justice to the sarong I didn't look like your typical tourist.  Wouldn't we all like to feel the same when strolling down the street? (Or the Champs Èlysèe for that matter.)

The weather doesn't have to be cool to necessitate the wearing of a scarf either, because light weight fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen mean that a scarf is an accessory that can be worn all year round.

Even in the height of summer, a scarf can be a feature of your ensemble.

The Pashmina is a scarf that has become a considerable addition to every woman's wardrobe over the past decade.  If you own only one scarf, make it a Pashmina. 

Jessica Alba is a huge fan of the Pashmina and of scarves in general - she wears them well.

I think it is important, if you can, to have various types of scarves in your wardrobe.  Silk, Pashmina, fine wool, chunky wool knit, crocheted knit, and in as many different lengths and finishes; skinny, long, short, square, rectangular, embellished with sequins... etc. etc.

Celebs use their Pashmina to keep warm and to keep the Paparazzi at bay (or maybe Jen simply forgot to brush her teeth?)

Fashion trends come and go, but rarely has one appealed to such a wide audience - age plays no part and you don't have to be a size zero either to wear your favourite scarf. 

 Giselle and Jennifer and their Pashmina. 

If you want to add a little excitement to your ensemble or to change the look of a favourite outfit, a scarf could be just what you need. It just has that knack of adding a little something extra.  Which brings me to how scarves are being worn besides around your neck.

Chic Cameron.

For Autumn/Winter, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith and Jean Paul Gaultier have all sent models down the runway wearing headscarves in manner of Her Majesty.  I want to officially caution you here though, because I think that one would have to be very confident to carry this look off.  I feel that this is not a look for most of us ladies.

But, if you want to give this trend a go, take my advice and let your scarf be the only element that embellishes what should be a simple and plain outfit.  Take your inspiration from the only other headscarf queens (also the only others who could successfully carry this look off in my opinion) - Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. 

Give your headscarf a bohemian edge a la Nicole Richie.  These days she is probably the only one of us that is successful in championing the headscarf.

Diane Kruger and her favourite scarf - dressed up and dressed down.

When it comes to silk scarves, there is no finer than the legendary French label Hermès.  I suggest downloading the Hermès handbook entitled “Playtime With Your Scarf” from their website.  It illustrates the many wonderful ways to tie your scarf in easy-to-follow instructions.

 An example from the Hermès handbook, "Playtime With Your Scarf".

We have now seen why scarves are such a versatile accessory because you can wear it around your neck, tied, knotted or draped.  But have you tried tying one around your hips, or through your belt loops in lieu of a belt for a little added colour?

Balenciaga has sent scarves down the runway over the past few seasons. 

Try wearing a large scarf around your shoulders as a shawl.  I love to carry a light weight scarf with me on warm evenings when I go out just in case the weather turns cool and when it invariably does, I wrap the scarf over my shoulders like a shrug and tie it behind my back between the shoulder blades. 
Dolce and Gabbana and Paul Smith following in the footsteps of Hermès.

So Deb, my lovely friend, I hope I have given you some ideas for scarf shopping.  I also hope you will be daring and look for more than one style - we wouldn't wear just one style of shoe or own just one handbag would we?  Variety is the spice of life, my love!

Ciao for now,

P.S. Happy 4th Birthday to my baby, Annabel Jade!  Mummy loves you so much - you are my little accessories queen! xxxx

Sources: Hermès, Google, Garance Dorè.

Minggu, 26 Juli 2009

Librarian's Rule

 This post is a tribute to a favourite inside feature.

Doesn't this lovely room look inviting?  I can see myself curled up on this love-seat, book on my lap, a warm cup of tea and my dog lying next to me.

Once in a while I like to have a good long look at my bookshelves - or my library, as I like to call it.  I look at it for quite a while, sizing up how the books are placed.  Sometimes I'll shuffle them around a bit, take one out and flick through it, maybe even get excited about discovering a book I had thought once lost.

Mostly I like to admire it.  This probably seems like strange behaviour to some of you, but this is just one of my little quirks, (of which there are many...), those of you who know me well, know what I'm talking about.
A place for quiet time, not something I get a lot of these days, but a sneaky Nana nap goes down well in a place like this.

When I am scouring the internet for images for my posts, I often come across images that are just so pleasing that I simply have to save them for a rainy day.  Often I end up using them in a post, but some just sit there in a folder waiting for that rainy day.
I just adore the colour coding of the books in this library.  So pleasing to the eye.
And so, after editing my pictures folder, I discovered that I had collected quite a few images of home libraries.  Goody, goody I thought - there's a great post already in the making!
 A home library can become a place to lose yourself in.

In my home in the mountains, I made a home library and reading retreat out of a small nook in our main living area.  A spot that was difficult to find a use for was suddenly the most popular place in the house.
Floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall, above a door, there are many places a library can be built to make room for your collection of much-loved reads.
This bookcase is an objèt d'art all on its own.

I scoured the Net for inspiration and boy did I find some!  There are a tonne of blogs and designers and websites out there dedicated to the home library, bookshelves, book displays and bookcases.
Arranging your books and objèt d'art can be fun and an excellent rainy day past-time.  I like to keep Shakespeare and Jane Austen together, books relating to fashion and design are shelved together.  I also have a section for books about movies and film-making, as well as an entire shelf dedicated to J.R.R.Tolkien and one for my collection of beloved Jilly Cooper.
There are many different ways you can display and store your books and magazines.
I love this idea of using space under stairs to store books.  It's ingenious and space-saving.
More stair storage. 

My first bookcase was an old falling-apart piece of junk I "inherited" from a flat-mate.  I use the word "inherited" loosely because basically she left it behind after she moved out.  It was unpainted, and it wobbled and swayed from side to side.  It's shelves were uneven and it was literally falling apart at the joints.  But as I had nowhere else to keep my books, it was better than nothing.  I went to the hardware store and I bought sandpaper and glue.  I sanded it back, glued it together and voila!  What a difference.  'Course, I think I ended up giving it to the Salvation Army when my hubby and I decided it was time to purchase grown up and married furniture, I didn't even think twice about discarding what was once the only piece of furniture I owned besides my bed!
This diagonal design turns a plain wall into a feature wall.

Think of them as decoration, not just as books.  A few of my friends don't even own a bookcase because once they have read a book, they discard it by giving it away.  I have never understood this because to me, a book I have read always becomes a memory for me and discarding a book would be like losing part of my memory.  That and the fact that I often re-read favourite books.
 The smallest of nooks can be your saving grace - a place of solitude and respite.

I also believe that books make a home.  And they don't have to be cerebral and artsy-fartsy books either.  Don't go putting on a show with books that you've neither read nor understand because when you have guests around, chances are someone will ask you about one of your titles and if you haven't the faintest idea what they are referring to, then what's the point?  Books can be conversation starters, even makers of great friendships.
Make good use of an extra wide hallway by having a carpenter build you a wall of shelves and seats for your reading pleasure. 
 Another space saver is to have shelves go over a doorway.  I personally love this look, especially in older homes where doorways are usually not as high as they are in modern homes.
 A custom step ladder looks great for those walls of books that are above your reach.  A wall of fabric to curtain off your library adds intimacy to a room, love that idea too.
This library is a major feature of this home. It takes up two walls and is functional and suits this space beautifully. 

Your library at home doesn't have to be a huge affair, nor does it have to be built-in, custom-made, designer influenced or a permanent structure.  We are currently renting our home and that has in no way restricted my home library vision.  We have a fabulous white MDF square structure from Ikea that serves as a room divider and bookshelf in one.  It is a great piece of furniture because it serves more than one purpose.  It houses many books, as well as photo albums, a stereo, speakers, photo frames, trinkets and divides our living room so that I can have my home office where I can keep an eye on my girls while writing.

Your options are only as small as your imagination.

Ciao for now,

Sources: Domino Archives, Style Carrot, DesignSponge, DesireToInspire, Google.

Kamis, 23 Juli 2009

Happy Birthday To My Blog!

Today is the first anniversary of my very first blog post, yay!

I am so happy with how my blog has evolved over the past year, particularly in the last 6 months since settling here in New Zealand.  Life has certainly turned around for my family and I since moving here and my writing is testament to that.

My heart felt thanks to you all for visiting I like, I wish, I heart.

I know that some of you visit everyday, so I cannot thank you enough for supporting me and for keeping me motivated.
The other wonderful motivator is the comments that you leave.
I know this might sound a little weird, but your comments are so wonderful to me because I feel they help validate my existence in this crazy world.  I am happier than I have been in a very long time and that comes down to being free to be me and to express my passions through my blog. 

I look forward to seeing how I like, I wish, I heart evolves over the next year with you.

Ciao for now,


Rabu, 22 Juli 2009

Bambi and Friends

We all know that Stella McCartney is an out and proud vegetarian, eco and animal friendly designer and well-known supporter of Animal Rights.  Well she goes a step further with her Autumn/Winter 2009 campaign which features a childhood Disney favourite - Bambi and some of his furry forest friends.  The campaign was shot with a live deer and fox, with Bambi and the other characters added later in post production.


 The campaign features model Sigrid Agren and was shot by photographer Ryan McGinley.
Stella explained the concept to WWD: "I'm a huge Bambi fan, and the film reminds me of my mum," adding, "the clothes in the campaign are looking quite fierce, and we wanted to contrast them with the innocence of Bambi." 

The campaign will launch as a double page spread in magazines this September and as you can see, features Stella's beautiful designs, but also featured are beautiful scenery and, some gorgeous cuddly characters we all remember from childhood.
I think it's very cute.

Ciao for now,

Source: WWD, InStyle.co.uk

Selasa, 21 Juli 2009

Style Profile: Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore is a natural beauty, and yes, even though she may have been blessed with good genes, it is her self-effacing and down to earth attitude that no doubt add to her beauty.  That and her steadfast rule of sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! 

 How many 47 year-old's do you know have graced the cover of Paris Vogue?
Even though Julianne works in a business that is fraught with expectations of goddess looks, unattainable physical perfectionism and a never-say-your-true-age mantra, Julianne is refreshingly à là naturàl.  Most of the time you will see papp shots of Julianne wearing jeans, jackets and Converse sneakers.  “I always say this... but it’s because it’s true: I live a very, very pedestrian life.” - Julianne Moore.

Julianne out and about in her Brooklyn neigbourhood, walking her pooch. 
 Julianne in casual mode (she had a brief stint as a blonde for her role in Blindness in 2007.)

You could be forgiven for thinking that her aversion to dressing up is a ruse when you see her in this month's British Vogue.  But she truly prefers an unfussy life (a woman after my own heart).

 Julianne on the cover and featured in British Vogue July 2009.
Julianne says that she didn’t get into the movie business for the glamour; “All I wanted was to be a regional-theater actor, to be in a company.  I thought it would be a great life. I don’t think I understood how difficult it would be.” 

Julianne cut her teeth in the soap As the World Turns, won a Daytime Emmy, and then after Hollywood came calling which led to her breakout role in Robert Altman's Short Cuts (1993).  Some of her more notable roles are: Boogie Nights (1997), The End of the Affair (1999), Far From Heaven (2002), The Hours (2002), Children of Men (2006) Savage Grace (2007).  In this time she has garnered 3 Academy Award Nominations for Best Actress.

Julianne is happily married to filmmaker Bart Freundlich, whom she met on the set of The Myth of Fingerprints (1997), which Freundlich wrote and directed.  She is also mother to Caleb, 12 and Liv, 8.  “We have a very solid family life... we’re really lucky because of what we do; our lives are so flexible.” - Julianne Moore.

 Julianne with her family.

When it comes to style, Julianne prefers elegant, tailored clothes, mostly monochromatic colours but occasionally she dazzles us with a perfectly chosen colour.  She does however have the help of designers like Stefano Pilati, Creative Director at Yves Saint Laurent since 2004.   Which I am sure makes the ordeal just a tad easier for her.

Some of Julianne's eclectic mix of red carpet looks.  I would never have thought that a redhead could wear hot pink, but she pulls it off beautifully. 

 "Julianne is the essential modern woman,” says Pilati. “She possesses a kind of beauty that is hard to find: effortless, elegant. She is as passionately accomplished a mother and wife as she is an actress — balanced, with her feet on the ground. And she is a true and loyal friend.”- Stefano Pilati.

Other favourite labels of Julianne's are Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Lanvin, and Calvin Klein.  “Julianne knows what complements her gorgeous coloring and body and always looks polished, minimal, and stylish.”  - Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa.

Julianne prefers to simplicity and shades rather than bold colour, and even though we have seen her in some very bright colours, she feels as a redhead that it is hard to get it right.  “I’m a very basic dresser.  I’m not interested in calling too much attention to myself.  I like to look cool without being too noticeable... it’s a tricky line.”  - Julianne Moore.

Even though she may appear confident and at home on the red carpet, Julianne doesn’t love it.
“I always feel stiff! And it’s become such a big deal.  I’m telling you, people did not used to care so much.  People did not stand with their hand on their hip.  I have never gotten used to it.” 

 In Christian Lacroix at Cannes 2008 and in Yves Sain Laurent at the Academy Awards 2003.

As for Julianne's exercise regime?  Well she works out regularly but not fanatically — a few days of running, a few yoga classes a week — and skips makeup. “I think that less is better, especially as you get older,” she says. “Too much makeup on an older woman can really make you look like a freak.” 

Somewhere between the acting and raising of kids, Julianne wrote a children’s book called Freckleface Strawberry, which is about coping with teasing and finding self-acceptance.

So what does this Celtic beauty have in her make up bag?

1. YSL Besace Flap Bag in Sky Anthracite.

2. Kiehl's Original Musk.

3. Chelsea Piers bottle: "We all drink good NYC tap water at my house and carry it around in these bottles."

4. Tarte Cheek Stain in Blushing Bride.

5. YSL Luxurious Mascara in Rich Brown: "I wear mascara when I'm feeling depressed."

6. Kérastase Nutritive Masquintense: "My hair is coarse, and if I don't have a blowout, I'll pull it into a tight ponytail so it dries straight at the crown."

7. Burt's Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion and Replenishing Lip Balm: "Our whole family loves these. With the tinted balm, my daughter thinks she's putting on lipstick."

8. By Terry Laque de Rose lip glosses: "The pink and lavender shades are closest to my natural lip color."

9. Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer: "Along with walking on the shady side of the street whenever possible, I've been using sunscreen every day since I was 25."

Julianne on herself: "When I go to a movie premiere and have to be very dressed up, it feels like there's a disconnect between who I am and who I am dressed up.  That doesn't feel authentic to me, because I'm not that way.  I'm not particularly glamorous.  I love sweaters and jeans more than a fancy gown.  I don't feel real."

Don't ever change Julianne Moore - we love you, just as you are.

Ciao for now,

Sources: Harper's Bazaar, British Vogue, US Vogue, Style.com, Marie Claire and other various Google.com sources.