Sometimes food, sometimes fashion, sometimes just life .................................

Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear your views x

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Lotions and potions, snake oil or youth in a bottle

I read an article in the Sunday magazines recently asking whether skin creams really work.  What do you think?  The article was saying that Rodial had made claims for a number of products that were being investigated, the author was asking whether even if the claims were unsubstantiated, is the feel-good factor from buying and applying this stuff  what really counts?  Is the cost of these creams justified by the research and development that has gone into them, or is it really just the cost of the marketing that makes them so expensive?

For example, I love the concept of Creme de la Mer, the story behind it, the beautiful packaging and displays in the plush department stores, the exclusivity, the silver probe used to apply the eye cream etc etc.  However, I have once had the actual Creme and found it gave me spots, even when I used it sparingly, warmed it in the palm of my hands etc etc.  I had a tiny sample of the eye cream and took it as a special treat on my skiing holiday - I applied it carefully and sparingly after a day in ski goggles, and when I woke in the morning I looked as if I had taken part in a boxing match my eyes were so puffy!  Equally though, when my daughter burned her wrist with a splash of hot gravy she tried some of the new serum and it instantly soothed.

What do you think?  Is it all hype or does this stuff really work?  Have you found something you think really does the job and is it cheap and cheerful or $$$$?


Inspired by the lovely Wildernesschic, I am writing about feet and more specifically about footwear.  I am a child of the Seventies, or rather I was a teenager in the Seventies, which means I did platforms the first time around and is why I baulk at them now (on me, not on others).  My first pair were yellow patent leather which I wore with a navy and white spotty A line skirt and a knitted halterneck top, when I tired of them (and I can only write this now that Dolcis is in liquidation) I wore them to go shopping in Bradford, ripped the heel off and hobbled into Dolcis demanding a solution to my problem, which was a new pair of shoes.  Quite entrepreneurial for a 15 year old on Saturday girl wages at a local hairdressers.  I replaced them with a different style of yellow platform shoes, with a wood stacked heel and platform.

When I wasn't wearing platforms, I was wearing Dr Scholls - which might explain the footballers' calves I seem to have to this day

In the childbearing years I gained 3 stone and 4 stone with my two pregnancies, that sort of weight on your feet turns them quite piggy - and in fact I went up from a size 5 to a size 6, and even when the pounds melted off, the feet were never quite the same. 

I have had espadrilles - what exactly is the point of shoes which mop up water in a British climate - have you ever experienced your shoes getting heavier and heavier to the point where they drop off your feet, and don't even mention the smell!

I have had gladiator sandals that wrap all the way up to your knee and are the devil's own job to keep up, then once you take them off your calves have a fetching plaited pattern on them.  And talking of patterned calves, I love to wear skinny jeans under boots - but no chance of slipping into a little black dress and stilettos any time soon after wearing that look - my calves will be positively origami-esque.

I adore shoes though, I keep the original boxes, the shoe bags, the tissue, all neatly stacked in my wardrobe.  I don't own any Manolo's but I do have a pair of Gina's, a few Louboutins, and Jimmy Choos, some cherished snakeskin Rene Caovilla's with tiny rosebuds on, but I think my favourites for style and comfort are probably Prada or Miu Miu.  The problem is I live in a tiny Welsh village, and I don't get out enough!  When we go out it is usually to our local pub which is a very casual affair - I have been known to do heels but not very often.  When I shop I need comfort otherwise my trip will be cut short because of the bad temper that develops when my feet hurt.  Same goes for fabulous weekends away, I have noticed that all Italian, French and Spanish cities have delicious cobbled pathways which ruin stiletto heels, and sight-seeing calls for comfort again.

Where do you stand on toe-cleavage?  My Louboutin Decoltissimos show a lot of cleavage and I love it - I have them in tan and in leopard, but I love this photo of the pink ones

What about thongs, haviannas, flip flops, fit flops - another workout for the calves and pure punishment the first time you get them out for the season, have you ever watched a man in flip flops (especially when he is a toe virgin)?  But a gorgeous way to shoe off a perfect pedicure in an outrageous colour with a lovely tan.

In a final blow for stilettos, the wooden floors and expensive carpets we have in our homes mean a "leave your shoes at the door policy" almost everywhere, so I now resort to wedges but I have to say that they are up there with flats when it comes to a curvaceous calf ie don't even think about it.

Something really spooky has just happened - my friend D has just sent me a thank you present (and I mean right this minute dropped off by her daughter) which is a book entitled "Fifty Shoes that Changed the World"!  Off to read it now, will let you know if I am further inspired.

Friday, 22 July 2011

What have I been up to?

I was reading Christina (Fashion's Most Wanted), and Wilderness Chic's fantastic Cool Side of the Pillow,  Hestia's Conference, and too many others to mention, and feeling more guilty than ever for not catching up with everyone,  I lost inspiration a bit, I work on the laptop 3 days a week and my contact lenses play up, and I can't decide what I can include and what I should not.  Anyway here goes:

I was looking for something to do other than be a housewife (although I love being a housewife don't get me wrong) and considering midwifery, doula-ing, sales of some type or other, cake decorating, setting up my own business (which I may yet do).  All very random I know but all things I love.

I got a new sales job which involved 2 weeks away from home training, and now 3 days a week based at home, and I love it - it's a bit like Susan from Desperate Housewives and involves a web cam!

I went on holiday to the Cote D'Azur and this time had fantastic weather (any opinion on the Princess Tam Tam big pants bikini - as featured in Vogue and finally found in Cannes?)
Gin and Tonic time - is it a bird, is it a plane?  No three drunk and slightly overcooked Brits abroad!

I had a long weekend in Paris and again had fantastic weather and an amazing time, the photo is not the best shot of Paris, but shows the Westin Vendome where we stayed.

My life feels lovely just now and I am waiting with trepidation for something to go wrong - I think I have said before I am not a pessimist it just comes from previous experience.

Then last week I had two pieces of news which devastated me, first of all someone I knew professionally for 10 years, who I liked and respected died instantly in a car accident and leaves behind a wife and 4 children, a person with a tremendous appetite for life, very clever and very humble.  Within moments of the phone call with that news, a recently made friend rang to tell me that she has ovarian cancer, again someone lovely, young and one of the healthiest people I know.  Life is inexplicable much of the time isn't it?
Here is a lovely photo of the gardens in St Paul de Vence, I love orange and purple together.
I have been reading everyone and commenting occasionally, and I'm sure when the weather changes I will be back into Blogging in a big way.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Blog Problems

This picture is called "Despair"
Finally I get back to my blog and everything is going wrong - I have lost all my followers, or at least all their pictures have gone, as has mine from my comments. I am desperately hoping that it is a problem with Blogger and not just because I have been absent for a while. It took forever to get the Fiat post to publish and again I think it may have been a problem with Blogger, although I did try some new things, like embedding and stuff like that (no idea what it means but seemed to manage it).
I am having an adventurous weekend on the technology front, I have decided to re-edit my wardrobe (inspired by many of you) and sell some of the better stuff on E-bay, I have had an account for ages, just not got around to using it, and I do generally take things I don't want anymore to the charity shop. However, the first item I want to sell is a Nicole Fahri swing coat which I bought with my first bonus 14 years ago, and now it makes me look like a bear - it needs someone slender and statuesque to show it to its best advantage. When I have a photo I will upload it, in the meantime, it is knee length on a tall person, black wool with a huge fake beaver collar which extends right down the front of the coat - I felt uber glam in it at the time! I will happily take any tips on how to sell if any of you have them x

Friday, 8 July 2011

Fiat by Gucci

Yes, si, you read it right, a collaboration between Fiat and Gucci which could not have come at a better time for my 24 year old daughter. She was pondering her choice of car to replace the Mini Cooper convertible she drives at the moment, something with the same cool vibe, as easy to park and a real head turner and now all she has to do is choose between black or white. A car to match your bag, why hasn't this been done before? Might it develop into new season, new bag, new car - the IT car the Fiat 500 by Gucci. If I were choosing it would be black, I know white is really on trend at the moment, but black is a classic.

I first really noticed the Fiat 500 on an Italian road trip, couldn't avoid it actually, because we were driving the wrong way down the dual carriageway from Rome to Naples straight into an oncoming Fiat 500 rally, and this was entirely the fault of the satellite navigation system which we were obeying to the letter without taking into account driving on the right. Honestly what is wrong with a map?

Second experience in a Fiat 500 takes some beating, we were on another Italian road trip in a group of 200 people, paired up in Fiat 500s and driving from Venice (the Cipriani) to Lake Como (Villa D'Este) via Sirmione and Mille Miglia Museum, now that would have been the time to be in the Gucci version. What a brilliant little Italian car for nipping along the Italian highways and byways, not to mention the hair raising coastal roads that run along the Western coast of Italy.

In a stroke of genius, the Fiat 500 by Gucci was launched in Milan fashion week, alongside the latest must have looks, and now the glorious photos are in the glossies, it's the epitome of chic, but affordable at £14.565 on the road. How long before there's a waiting list I wonder?

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