Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

On Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle.

Month: June, 2014

Urban Classics.

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My outfit of the day consists of “urban classics” that are well liked and worn often – white shirt (to feel sleek and groomed), ripped denim (to add an informal “off duty” touch), Converse sneakers in white leather (to see me through the day filled with walking) and a leopard print coat (to add the “edge” to otherwise simple set), creating altogether a comfortable attire for a day in the city. What you cannot see is an umbrella in my handbag, as despite my hopes, long weekend in the resort town was not as sunny as I imagined!

White Shirt – Massimo Dutti

Denim Trousers – Mango

Shoes – Converse

Coat – Mango

Handbag – Coccinelle

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Belle de Jour & Dr. Hauschka.

Dr.Hauschka

In my adult life I have heard many compliments, but those on a beautiful complexion were never mentioned. No wonder why – I simply did not have a beautiful complexion. Except for some minor battles, I never was the one who could be called an adolescent rebel, except for my skin – always unhappy, moody, troubled… simply difficult.

Years gone by and I moved on a safe distance from sweet sixteen, but for an unknown reason my skin just didn’t want to let go of her teenage ways. Despite treatments, specialistic beauty care, numerous session with a dermatologist nothing seemed to work. My frustration was constant and although things were under reasonable control, there were not there yet.

At one point I decided I do need a change. Firstly I evaluated my eating habits and decided on introducing healthier eating habits focusing on fruits, vegetables, white meat, fish, seeds and nuts. Secondly, as advised by a make up artist friend who is an organic beauty care devotee, I bought my very first Dr. Hauschka face care set. Last, but not least, I started exercising and spending more time outdoors. This is when it all changed for real. For a few months now I look into a mirror not dreading what new surprises await me today. My complexion is glowing and for the first time in my life I hear that it looks healthy and is spotless. Sure, I do not neglect specialistic care and still see my dermatologist regularly, but it has never been better. Maybe it is a combination of healthy life style and more natural care, maybe my believe in them, but the fact is that whatever it is, it works.

From the Bookshelf. “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano.

French Women Don't Get Fat

Call me a Francophile,but there is something about France, Parisian chic and French ‘joie de vivre’ that I find fascinating. The attitude towards celebrating little pleasures, living well and being naturally beautiful speak volumes to me. It is no wonder that books related to the subject usually catch my attention and often make an addition to my home library.

This time it was “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano that I purchased in search of inspiration on how to bring some “frenchness” into my kitchen. I was not disappointed – apart from some recipes there is a lot about beauty, life stages, useful tips and tricks to make one look more youthful and feel better. The reading was so interesting that I decided to order two remaining titles by the same author.

The main thing that I remembered is that staying fit and looking well is a lifelong process that requires good deal of discipline and making little efforts every day, but without neglecting pleasures and joys that life has to offer.
So yes, if a chocolate desert – only the best quality and only on occasions when one can fully enjoy this decadent treat.
So by all means, a long lunch with champagne – but only if balanced by a walk back home and an otherwise light dinner.
And no – no to bad quality, no to excess, no to absentmindedness and no to thinking that there is no beauty after certain age.

Quality Above Quantity.

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This weekend I felt inspired to do some cleaning and reorganizing. What started in my closet (and resulted in a couple of heavy bags that are to be donated to charity) ended up by the make up table. For some time I knew that there are bit dated, used up or brand new but almost never used products that I should part with for good or replace (yes, as much as I wanted it to be a perfect match, red lips are not becoming for me – goodbye Chanel Rouge!).

Letting go may not be easy, but you do yourself no favor if you hold on to old make up products just because you paid good money for them or simply still did not manage to use the whole bottle. Dated cosmetics can cause allergies and irritation. The best you can do is to brace yourself and do it all at once, with a lesson learned on being better prepared and more realistic next time you shop for make up. Just because you adore red lips (as I do!) or green eyeshadows (as I don’t), it is not given that the look will suit you.

I made some missteps myself, so this time I knew better when visiting a beauty department. Also, some brands may suit you better than others. As you can see I walked away from my relationship with Chanel and settled with Dior, romancing a little with Guerlain. Now, when I look at my make up set it is a collection of well thought through products, shades and textures, not to mention they all are safe to use and will do ‘the beautifying magic’ as they are meant to.

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God Kveld Oslo.

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There are so many things I love about Oslo, that it is hard to mention just a few of them. The ever friendly attitude, long summer nights, beautiful architecture at Frogner, Aker Brygge district, the National Opera, small alleys with charming shops, picnics by the Royal Palace, coffee shops at every street corner, flowers in the Spring, sail boats, Champagneria, Munch museum and Freia chocolate…

After many years I still find sights that amaze me and new places to explore. To me Oslo is the most beautiful in the summertime, when days are sunny and evenings are so long, because it never gets dark. Nowhere else can you enjoy garden parties till small hours, when you need not light a singe lantern or city life, when sipping a glass of champagne, you look at the sun not believing it is already so late. 

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Everyday Cakes. Yoghurt Cake.

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Having a full time work with a family and social life to maintain leaves me little time for elaborate cakes. On special occasions – perhaps, but never as a regular practice. Everyday cakes are a different story though. I believe that a home made everyday cake brings an unique quality to family gatherings, being tasty yet fast to prepare, uncomplicated and possible to make with a simple list of ingredients that even a modest kitchen supply can cater for, and if you are lucky enough to own a food processor (like Kitchen Aid or similar), making everyday cakes will require a minimal effort,

Today, to open “Everyday Cakes” series, one that is not only delicious, but simple in preparation – the Yoghurt Cake.

Yoghurt Cake – List of Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g. of sugar
  • vanilla sugar
  • 2 ss. of baking soda
  • 450 g. of all purpose flour
  • 225. g of natural yoghurt (chose one that is thick and contains minimum sugar)
  • 150 ml. of plain oil

Yoghurt Cake – Preparation:

  1. For approximately 10 minutes mix eggs well (both egg whites and egg yolks), until you get an airy mixture.
  2. Continue to mix and gradually add sugar mixed with vanilla sugar, yoghurt, oil and at the end flour mixed with baking soda.
  3. Pour the dough into a baking form greased with some oil and sprinkled with breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake for 60 – 65 minutes in an oven preheated to 160 C degreed. The cake is ready when a wooden pin is dry once you pierce a cake with it.

This is a base recipe that can be modified by adding seasonal fruits or delicacies such as raisins or nuts. To the cake that you can see on all pictures I added some rhubarb.

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From the Bookshelf. “Forever Chic” by Tish Jett.

Forever Chic

Who wouldn’t like to know “Frenchwomen’s secrets for timeless beauty, style and substance”? I definitely would and for this reason “Forever Chic” book found its place on my bookshelf.

The autor, an American journalist, moved to France and what was supposed to be a temporary assignment turned into a lifelong adventure that led to many observations and detailed, yet quite informal. research work on Frenchwomen beauty secrets.

The essence of the book revolves around a concept of a “femme d’un certain âge”, her diet, beauty rituals, pastimes and (not surprisingly when talking about France) her wardrobe. It is not a scientific research (far from it!), but witty and interesting reading for all women who believe that beauty is not related to metrics, but to unique allure that every woman can make her own and keep for years to come. Although the book is dedicated to more mature readers, younger ones will benefit as well, learning some useful lessons for the future.

New in May.

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May was one eventful month, with my birthday celebration and the trip to Milan as its most memorable moments. In relation with both, there was some shopping and some gift unwrapping, both very enjoyable. 

Before packing my suitcase and setting off to Milan, I invested in comfortable city shoes and bought white leather Converse. They made my sightseeing very easy and I praised them most on the rooftop of the Duomo cathedral, feeling sorry for ladies struggling in their high heels. Since Milan is an Italian capital of fashion, I purchased some leather goods that the city is famous for. Back home I brought two leather Coccinelle handbags, one in classic black and one in yellow as well as a black leather Furla wallet. To add some color to my closet, I selected a scarf in shades of pink, orange and yellow.

And yes, birthday gifts! I did not forget about them, as I cherish each and every (once again many thanks to all who were so kind and remembered about my special day). From black pearls jewelry set, beautifully illustrated album about Christian Dior Couture, through Guerlain beauty products and Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile eau de perfum up to yearly subscription of Harpers Bazaar US. Who said that becoming a year older has to be scary?

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Acqua di Parma and Perfume Personality.

In one of recent Harpers Bazaar issues Frédéric Malle was quoted saying “changing perfumes is a way of becoming someone else, if slightly”. I couldn’t agree more. This year, going through major birthday celebration, I decided the time for a change has come – Acqua di Parma became my new fragrance personality for the summer.

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Fico di Amalfi is my new day perfume, with fresh notes of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit and citron, built upon a foundation of fig wood, cedar wood with a jasmine heart cord. It reminds me of summer spent at the Amalfi Coast, picturesque part of Italy that reminds one of my fond holiday memories.

For the evening, heavier and more sensual notes of magnolia blossom, rose, jasmine, tuberose set with base cords of sandalwood, vanilla and patchouli, closed in the bottle of Magnolia Nobile eau de perfum seem to express to perfection the way I like to feel after dark, on long summer nights.

Milan is the city where Acqua di Parma belongs at home and there at Via Montenapoleone, to my great pleasure, I discovered an exclusive retail salon offering all goods signed by this italian perfumer. After two long session with fragrant testers and most accommodating sales assistants, the choice fall on newest male scent, Leather, that seemed to put a spell on my Husband. At last I wasn’t the only one who got seduced by a perfumed Genie from the Bottle…

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