Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas wishes

My Christmas wish - among the usual good health and happiness - is that I find the time to devote to my blog in 2012. It's bloody hard carving out an hour or two every day, but the creative outlet is worth it and hopefully my personal mission to celebrate inspiring and stylish ladies in their 40s will in turn inspire others to find their inner style queen.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas everyone - I hope Santa is generous and that you have a safe and relaxing holiday. Keep stylish!

Did you know that in China Santa swims with the sharks? If my girls saw this I think they would be a little less confident about the safe arrival of their Santa bounty.

I enjoyed this article by Paul Barry on Open Forum this week - a good look at the Christmas nitty-gritty.
Who really runs Christmas?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


"The only thing that makes it a part of your life is that you keep thinking about it."


I love this casual look on Stella McCartney as she leaves some ritzy hotel in Paris. The jeans are a great antidote to the skinny jeans that I see everywhere - including on myself. And the maroon blouse is perfectly nonchalant. As Stella has only just turned 40 I can't technically forty-fy her, but I can copy her casual look for myself.

Let's ask the World Wide Wardrobe what we could use to get the Stella look...

Twisted boyfriend Jeans from Just Jeans


Bow neckchiffon blouse from Forever21 - it's not the beautiful maroon colour but it will work.


Black shoulder bag by Ruche  - gorgeous!



I can't tell if she is wearing Wayfarers but I definitely would.

That's all it takes to look like Stella McCartney on a day out in Paris ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When beauty goes bad

Umm, why would Emily Blunt do this to herself ....

... when she could look like this??

There's not a hint of Nana or pulling fabric. Goes to show that even a beautiful woman can't pull off shiney purple and an ill-fitting brown skirt. Who would have thought?!

I love Emily but not when she is up close and personal with MY Ewan!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Every girl has her limits

I like to think that in a lot of aspects of my life I have a wee dash of risk taker in me. In matters of  fashion and style I like to kid myself that the dash of risk is more like a large splash.

But there are limits! Yesterday I declared I would never wear flesh toned half socks... and I don't care who knows it! I don't think I'm alone in rejecting that fashion flash-in-the-pan, but there are other more mainstream trends that I just can't seem to embrace fully even though my heart really wants to.

Full-on gladiator sandals for one. I always think they look hugely sexy and cutting edge on other people, but I me I just can't see them working.

 Wow! While I do appreciate these heels I couldn't wear them ... but it's ok because I can get the flavour of them from these Clarks that arrived yesterday. Impractical above, practical below.
And, I can't bring myself to wear gathered or pleated skirts, as much as I love the look of them. Show me a woman who has had three children who can! I really don't need the extra yardage around my middle.

Much as I love this Portman's skirt I have to stick with sleek and uncomplicated.

Also maxi dresses... just who exactly do they look good on!? I like them in theory but whenever I put one on it swaps me and makes me look like a short-legged stump. Granted, I might not have found the right one, but I have tried and failed several times. And I've yet to see a person on the street who is wearing a maxi dress AND looking good in it.

Except for maybe Vanessa Hudgens, I suppose she looks okay.

And I guess Alessandra Ambrosio looks half-way decent. Ok, maybe it's just me.


If I could buy one new dress this summer it would be this one from Camille .. isn't it beautiful! The colour and the detail are truly gorgeous.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'll pass, thanks

Sorry designers at Marni, but I won't be wearing flesh coloured calf-socks this season. Thanks for trying though.

The clothes look wonderful, but are the socks the fault of one Ms Catherine Middleton? Are they some sort of mutated, half-child of her flesh stockings fad? Either way they will not be making an appearance on my feet!
That white skirt, however, is divine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Staying at home

For some reason my kids do not like to have cushions on a sofa with them. The moment they flop down they toss the artfully arranged cushions to the ground and proceed to spread out without the encumbrance of soft furnishings cramping their style. My voice is worn out with telling them to 'pick up the cushions!' only to have them flung aside minutes later. It's really a battle not worth fighting, except that most of our cushions are white. Stupid I know, but some of them have been with me for longer than the kids!
Finally I have decided to re-cover the damned things so that being tossed on the floor will not result in them always looking dirty, despite being constantly washed.
I have bought from Funky Fabrix in the past when I made curtains for S's bedroom, but until now I haven't had an excuse to buy anymore of their glorious cloth.
So when a package arrived on my doorstep yesterday containing cushion-sized pieces of these fabrics  just waiting to meet my sewing machine, I was jumping with excitement. Yay! Aren't they beautiful... and the best thing is, I have enough left over to make a skirt for myself out of the last one. Very Orla Kiely I think.


Wood you?
My husband is from California. I never knew it, but apparently Californians love wood - they love it everywhere from in the forest to in the house. So any time there is a choice between painted or wood Hubby always goes for wood and I always go for painted ... usually white, very adventurous I know.

But this post by The Coolhunter might make me rethink my wood issues - soft wood on wood looks beautiful in these photos, but I have a morbid fear of the Swiss Chalet look suddenly appearing out of nowhere. I don't think I have the delicacy to touch needed to pull this look off, but I do grudgingly admire it when it's well done.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kate the Great

I love Kate Winslet in a skin tight red carpet gown as much as the next person, but for me it is when she wears casual clothes that her beauty really shines. And it's much more attainable for me!

Ater a media extravaganza of Kate in a red dress and Kate in a body hugging white and black dress and Kate in a brown dress.... its nice to see her looking so damned fabulous in a pair of shorts and a jacket. Looking at this makes me think she can finally breathe!

Look at her legs! And she has wonderful skin!

In Venice she looked great in this simple ensemble.

And not so va-va-va-voom in Madrid. I do wish she would wear her hair down more often though.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why so surprised??

Holy Moly! What has happened to Blythe Danner??

She did not come upon that tight skin and that blank expression naturally, I know it. And I know it because usually she looks natural and fabulous. Like the funky Mother in her 60s that I hope to be one day, not a stretched out wax model.

In June she looked like this ...
... much more natural and gorgeous. Maybe it's the lighting or the glasses or the angle or something, but I suspect she has had a little something done. According to wikipedia she is 68 so I suppose she thought it was time. But I wish she hadn't.


Speaking of makeovers, I have an office chair (currently under my bottom) that needs recovering. It's not a fancy chair but we have had it for ages and it's comfortable and practical, and it also spins AND goes up and down. It's also stained and ripped where cahir meets bum so I thought a quick re-cover would be just the thing it needs.
As I am very drawn to patterns and colour it took me a while to decide on the fabric - afterall, it needs to be hard wearing, stain resistant, and pretty and that combination is not always easy to find.
But I think it the effort has been worth it. It certainly beats black, torn and dirty hands down!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Winning ways with pony tails

Ever since I had hair I have been trying to master the art of the casual pony tail. I don't think I have EVER achieved that perfect pony tail, and at this point I doubt I ever will. Mine are always too high, or too low, or too slicked, or too messy, or too just no right.

And by right I mean this ...
This one worn by Ciara Flood, and featured on Vanessa Jackman's street stle blog, is efoortless and wonderful. It sits in the perfect spot and has just the right amount of whispy hair floating free at the front. I could spend hours in front of the mirror (if I HAD hours to spend in front of the mirror!) and still never achieve anything as fabulous looking on my head.

Other pony tails I covet include ....

Livia Giuggioli at the Venice Film Festival

Rose Byrne visiting David Letterman, and the only side pony tail that has caught my eye.

Kristen Bell at the VH1 Do Something Awards.

And of course anything on Zooey Deschanel, the girl whose body I want to inhabit when science perfects body swapping technology.

Does anyone have any pony tail tricks and tips??

Friday, September 16, 2011

Let's hear it for the (older) lovely ladies

Doesn't Anna Wintour look divine in this red dress?! Usually I think she looks unhappy and worn down, but this dress makes her look fresh and fun. Fun!? Maybe not a word usually associated with Ms Wintour, but I really think she does. The power of a fab frock!

I love Diane von Furstenberg and really wish I could justify spending big bucks on a dress of hers. I have scoured ebay for great finds, but all of the good ones go for massive amounts. The lady herself is something of an inspiration to me. I read an article about her ages ago (in Harper's Bazzar I think) and she just seems like a sorted person.

Check out these gorgeous examples from her Spring 2012 collection. I would wear every single piece ... and I would love it!

Susan Sarandon was checking out the fashion in New York wearing this amazing outfit - of course the best accessory is her wonderful body.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stylish Mandy Moore

I am loving Mandy Moore at the moment. Weird because there is more than 10 years difference in our ages, but I do like to think that she looks a bit like me when I was 27. Hee hee .. wishful thinking maybe, but we have the same colouring so don't scoff!!
We also seem to have the same taste in style. If my 10 years younger self knew better she would have been wearing what Mandy is wearing today - then we would have been completely impossible to tell apart!!! ;)
She seems to be getting more beautiful as she gets older. She's lost that rounder face and has found her style.
Who would have thought that the girl that brought us thart horrible pop So Real album would turn into this lovely actress and fashion designer. Nice to see someone in young Hollywood going up in stature instead of straight to rehab!
Mandy with Jenny Packham at Jenny's spring show New York.

Wearing the most beautiful dres at the Lela Rose show in NYC.
And, she wore these gorgeous shoes!!
In a fabulous dress with a pop of red in New York.

Looking gorgeous in England.

Looking cool even though she is standing next to a man dress as a giant mosquito for World Malaria Day. Now that I am in possession of a white blazer I can do this look at home.

So pretty at the LA Tangled premiere.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feeling Spring-y!

At the beginning of each new season I drool over all of the fashion possibilities. This winter had me rethinking the batwing jumper, dreaming of stomping around in kick-ass wedge boots, trying on countless skinny black jeans looking for the perfect pair (thank you Country Road!), and imagining the perfect waist-nipping winter coat ... which by the way I don't think actually exists.

I spend so much time imagining the perfect wardrobe that I fizzle out when it comes to shopping. I hope wedge boots will still be in for next winter because I never did actually get around to buying a pair even though I LOVE them.

But this Spring - oh the endless possibilities!!!

This Spring combines ALL of my fashion loves - bright colours, flowy tops, patterns!


So far I have bought a great white line blazer from Sussan - this is odd because I usually stay clear of Sussan because their clothes never seem to fit me properly. It is going to be my go-to basic this Spring. Really its just a great way to wear lots of colourful and patterned tops without the top blaring. A white blazer, a gorgeous top and dark denims - that's a recipe for perfection.

And, just to mix it up I will be going all opposite by wearing a white tank under this lovely cardi that is on it's way to me as we speak from Ruche. I could wear white jeans, dark jeans or olive pants with this. Or, if I ever find a pair of bring red jeans that look good on me, I could wear this with them as well!!! Pigs might fly before that happens though.


I ran out today to source tiles for our laundry reno. I am not going through all of the renovation trouble just to have a bog standard laundry! So I'm looking for a practical way to funk things up a bit in the laundry department and I thought tiles might be the solution. But the range of tiles in my price bracket can be a little bit disappointing. So now I am looking at doing some creative painting.

I love LOVE the look of this laundry and as luck would have it our laundry is a similar shape. I just have to work out the best way to make a peg template and get cracking with a paint brush and roller. Oh, and try to convince Hubby that a lime green laundry is just what he's always wanted. Well, it's not like he ever goes in there!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blogger hates me!

Blogger decided to divorce me six weeks ago. It lost my account and snubbed me big time... but I fought back and demanded due!!
It worked and I am now back despite blogger's rejection of me.

We have just come back from a glorious week in the Snowy Mountains where there was indeed lots of snow. We skied and snowboarded for four days and did some beautiful hikes on the other three days. It was exhausting in that healthy fun way that is the best type of exhaustion. It was hard to return to work and, judging from the girl's comments this morning, it was equally as hard for them to return to school.

Moving onto more fashionable things ... I loved all of the beautiful colours backstage at the Lela Rose show in New York. This Spring week I will keep in mind these lovely ladies when I get dressed for my busy day - colour and pattern every day :)

Shantel VanSanten, designer Lela Rose, and Mandy Moore pose backstage at the Lela Rose Spring 2012 fashion in gorgeous colours.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Country wedding

I love this photo from Kate Moss's wedding. I thought she would have a full-on glam, rockstar wedding, not this lovely soft family get-together.
I love love that she has all of these girls as her bridesmaids! I want to get married again so that I can have all of my friend's beautiful daughters be my bridesmaids. What a glorious way to involve everyone.
I also love the fact that the girls are all wearing different dresses but they are all white. No tacky taffeta gowns here.
(Photo from Vogue)

This spring I am going to carry on this relaxed English country vibe by wearing my new favourite dress as often as possible!

It's from Portmans and it looks gorgeous on ... even if I do say so myself ;)

Come on Spring!! Let's get it on!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Berry nice

We love berries around here. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, mulberries, cherry berries ... all of them have a special place in our hearts. So each week I buy one of those whopping big 750g bags of mixed frozen berries and every week they are all gone.

We put them in muffins, in my special berry-fied banana cake, sprinkled over the top of hot porridge, dotted into pancakes, squashed and heated for Eton Mess, and whipped up into a smooth frozen glory for smoothies. I think we personally keep the berry farmers of the world in business.

I know I shouldn't, but I have been sneakily buying American cherries! Is that the food-miles police I hear knocking on my door?!?  I know it's ridiculous to buy cherries that have flown first class all the way from America, but I love them so much that I just blank my rational mind to the idea of waiting for our own local cherry season! Bah to that!! They are so good!

Lately I feel as though I have been berry inspired in my wardrobe choices - pinks, reds, and purples seem to be popping up on me like never before. Could I be bleeding berry?

This leads me to my favourite berry finds on the Internet so that you don't have to go the to extremes I have to get some berry into your life.

For me Kate Spade clothes are 'look but don't touch' because they are so expensive. I have found two great silk blouses on ebay, but unfortunately the bidding went too high on them and I lost out to people with deeper pockets. But I keep looking! You can have Kate Spade's gorgeous stuff shipped to Australia via one of those international shipping services like HopShopGo.

Spool is new to Australia, but I think it's rural American lifestyle inspired designs are a welcome addition.

 How gorgeous would this boxy Barkins shirt look with dark jeans? I think very gorgeous!

 I am still obsessing about owning a pair of red jeans. Witchery jeans usually fit me well so these might be the ones to end my quest.

This Cocolatte jacket is a nice alternative to a denim jacket. I have never had a denim jacket that flattered me, they are all just too square. But I could channel a fashionable blueberry in this :)

I am so ready for the warmer weather - I'm sure we all are. Summer '11 looks like a light, bright, colourful fashion season.