Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Finding 50 and Fabulous....Silk scarves & Pearl earrings...

My favourite earrings pictured here. A black pearl stud, with a large freshwater pearl drop, teeny diamond betwixt the two. These are so versatile and I wear them almost every day.
I don't know about you, but as much as I'd love to be swanning around in designer gear all the time, I have to be honest and say as a Mum, co-business owner, and Chief Wardrobe Assistant to the School Dance Faculty, there is little call for designer gear. Neat jeans and stylish shirts seem to get me just about everywhere as a matter of fact. You too, huh?
Jimmy Choos and Pucci shifts just don't cut it at our school gate.
I wore a dress for the first time in months last Friday night. The occasion was a Justin Timberlake concert that I attended with my fourteen year old daughter (or did she come with me....lol!), and I just felt like dressing up.
I wore my LBD, vintage two tone heels, and carried a vintage 50s white patent box bag with teeny weeny polka dots all over it....

Well the dress annoyed me, the heels more so, and the box bag, whilst appropriate in every way, was a pain to manage with it's tiny little handle.
What I really needed was jeans, a stylish shirt, a cross body purse, and shoes to dance in.
Lesson learned.
Problem is, we all like to look nice. A bit o' glamour in every day life is a must have, and watching Downton Abbey and the Oscars, only does so much.
My solution is....ta-da....the silk scarf, and the pearl earrings.
Now the scarf doesn't have to Hermes`, although I do love a soft and pretty Hermes scarf and am fortunate enough to have been gifted one or two...
They do look so lovely tied to the handle of your bag, and oh-so-wonderful to have if there is a nip in the breeze. Untie from bag, swing over shoulders....instant warmth and glam.
You can be just as happy with a $1 thrifted bargain though, like this gossamer silk beauty I picked up at a charity store, not so long ago. Very practical, and not likely to induce apoplexy should one spill a spot of liquorice tea or a crumb of jam tart thereupon.

The same goes for the earrings. A perusal of eBay or somewhere like Grays Online Auctioneers (where I got mine), yields many little pearl studs for very little moola. Don't go all fancy though. No chandeliers with gypsy inclinations. Stick with basic and plain and you can't go wrong.
Throw on your jeans, a simple shirt, silk scarf slung around shoulders or tied inventively, ballet flats or lounge slippers...my faves are leopard print or beige suede lounge slippers studded with crystals or my divine little Lanvin flats (thankyou Musician Husband...mwah!)...
....a swish of mineral makeup, you do have your lashes and brows tinted and groomed don't you, a swipe of lip gloss....and you're good to go.
What's your go-to everyday Glamour look?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Finding 50 and Fabulous....Lesser known French Beauty Secrets....

Nowadays we all know about eating foods high in anti oxidants and limiting wine and caffeine, but as a regular visitor to France, here are some things I've learned on the ground. The things that real people do to enhance their enjoyment of life. Because a joie` de vivre is far more important than just looking young!
  This is a photograph I took of the staircase in an apartment building where a friend had generously lent us her apartment on the Left Bank for our stay, as she had fled Paris for the Summer to retreat to her country Chateau. As one does. When at home, she, and we, walked up and down these stairs several times a day. That's a lot of stairs, people. And that's in addition to just walking to the Monoprix for groceries, and the other usual stuff that one does in Paris. Walk, instead of driving. Soak up your neighbourhood. Enjoy, breathe.

Furnish your home beautifully and spend money on things that will last a lifetime, not a season. And make sure that the furnishings and colours of your home frame YOU as the inhabitant.
Choose colours that are flattering to YOU, and use soft lighting to enhance the display of precious items, and to make everyone who enters your home, look their most beautiful. People won't know why they love coming to you, but they will adore how they look when they're with you!
In that vein, can I add....mirrors, candles, chandeliers, lamps...lots of them!
Fresh flowers and greenery are good for the soul. This is a display outside a convenience store and florist in the tiniest little town in South Western France. The floristry side of the business far outstripped the priority given to more mundane goods like butter and milk. You can just cut some from the garden, or clip some leaves or fronds. It's lovely to have fresh flowers and greenery in the house. Be it as cut foliage and blooms, or as pot plants. I always have a mixture all three.
Eat the best quality you can afford, in moderate amounts, and present it elegantly, at a table presented equally beautifully. None of this eating on laps thankyou.
Here is a list of the good things to eat, as touted by the experts. But really, the French people I know don't worry about it too much. They eat what they like, when they like, but always, always moderate portions.
Oysters and oily fish like salmon
Pulses and beans
Spinach and greens in abundance
Tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables
Ancient grains
Raw Honey
Locally grown fruit
That looks about what most of us eat these days. Right? I think we're all reasonably savvy in this day and age. Maybe we're all a wee bit more 'French'.
And here's just a couple more tips that work for me...
Wear lighter makeup
Laugh, love, dance, and walk more
Drink more water
Grow your hair and learn how to wear it elegantly
Introduce colour into your wardrobe
Dress for your body shape, always
Forget 'fashion' and develop your own style
Use a good whitening toothpaste
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
What are your beauty secrets?


Monday, September 8, 2014

Pretty pearly cake....

I made this for my almost one year old grandaughter.
Isn't it pretty?
It's not a small cupcake, although you can't really tell from the photo.
It's about the size of a basketball. Huge. Well, huge for a cupcake.
It's baked in two halves of a really odd looking tin that looks like a pedestal and a Madonna style bra cup...
....but in fact you bake the top and bottom of the 'cupcake', join them with filling of some sort, and ice the top dome to your liking.
My daughter-in-law chose this pretty shade of lilac, which I then dusted with edible pearl dust for shimmer. A few lilac and white sprinkles, some supermarket bought sugar flowers and we've got one sweet cake.
These cakes retail for around $70 here, and for around the same amount, I've now got the tin, and the know-how to make as many giant cupcakes as I like. The actual cake cost less than $10 to make.
Someone tried to tell me that cupcake fever is over, and that it's a dying trend. Well try telling that to a one year old. Or a fourteen year old really.
This cake was a hit, and I now have two orders for giant cupcakes for other friends of my daughter-in-law.
I'd say a success....yes?