You look out of the window, deciding what you're going to wear to work. It's raining, it might even be snowing, you think to yourself "Oh, it's the perfect day to wear my rainboots - practical and fashionable at the same time".


Wellington boots - named after the Duke of Wellington - have become quite the fashion statement, mainly thanks to Kate Moss wearing them at Glastonbury a few years ago. She wore the Hunter. In green. With very short shorts and an attitude that only she is capable of carrying off.

Every which way I turn these days, I see women of all ages, shapes and sizes wearing wellington boots. Also known as rainboots, galoshes, wellies...they originate from England. The fashion pack's most popular make right now is Hunter which is synonymous with the hunting, shooting, fishing brigade (for years the recipients of great mockery and derision from the working class who actually had to work for a living) in England. Usually teamed with the Barbour jacket, the Hunter wellies became a staple of the posh folk's outdoor uniform. Hunter-Barbour folk were spotted in the countryside - alongside horses, pigs, cows, dogs, anything other than human beings really. 

Thanks to the people at Burberry, there are many women who think it's appropriate/trendy/cute to don a pair of wellies in the city.  It's not. If you want just one reason why you should immediately donate your Burberry wellies to Goodwill, google the term Chav.

If you thought the English posh folk got the piss taken out of them, you are in for a treat if you insist on continuing to wear wellies with your Ann Taylor worksuit.

WTF are you thinking?

Wearing the Burberry check, or one of the brightly coloured Hunters, or God forbid the wellies by Coach - you don't look like the models in the J Crew catalogue, you look like a wanker.

If it's snowing, then you might just get away with it, but hold on no, who am I kidding - NOBODY with any fashion intelligence whatsoever wears wellies except when they are traipsing around the countryside, about to get on a horse, fishing, or knee-deep in the garden (note: every activity has to contain mud).

If, however, you are under the age of 13, then you can wear wellies any time you want. Even with your pyjamas.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence $$$ vs Caudalie Beauty Elixir $

Mucho dinero:
Whilst I have no illusions that it's going to make my skin as dewy or perfect as that of Cate Blanchett, its rather gag-worthy smell of yeast makes me think that it contains an ingredient that will magically do something (well, anything really) of great benefit to mi cara.

Oh, that and the whince-inducing price tag it carries.

If you google it, there are a gazillion reviews on how amazing and how utterly shite the product is. I say, you have to give it a go and find out for yourself. I spritz it on every other day (another way of saying when I remember), as padding it onto my face with my hands was too messy by far. Cleanse, spritz, moisturize and you're good to go. The smell might take a bit of getting used to, but if you bake your own bread, you'll feel right at home.

Menos dinero:
If you want to try something a little more recession-friendly, I recommend Caudalie's Beauty Elixir. It's a product that works along similar lines but is far cheaper. This is another spritz on your face product. As to its efficacy, it definitely soothes and smoothes my skin.

The blurb says Inspired by the "elixir of youth" used by Queen Isabella of Hungary, this skin care smoothes features, tightens pores and provides a burst of radiance to the complexion.

There's something about the glass bottle with both products that makes me think they're seriously luxurious. I am such a sucker for packaging.

my favourite thing to do in Italy

well one of my favourite things to do...grab an espresso at the bar and indulge in a fresh pastry

photos courtesy of the brilliant nordljus - check our her website, her photography is excellent

christmas presents  |  anthropologie

to read

to drink from

to light

to wear

for the little people in your life

NON NON NON, ce n'est pas possible!!!

The French fashion world has dealt a new blow to Nicolas Sarkozy’s desire to upstage President Obama: Elle magazine, the Parisiennes’ style bible, has proclaimed that Michelle Obama is more chic than Carla Bruni.

The magazine’s annual best-dressed list, unveiled yesterday, awarded first place in the category of “political chic” to America’s First Lady, and second to France’s Première Dame. It is the second year in a row that Ms Bruni, 42, has come second on the list; last year Elle put her behind Asma Assad, the British-born wife of the Syrian President.

For Mr Sarkozy — who has treated Mr Obama as an unfriendly rival ever since the US President gave the cold shoulder to his attempts to forge a special Franco-American relationship — this is unwelcome news indeed. Yesterday the Frenchman took another swipe at his US counterpart, criticising him for deciding to attend next month’s climate summit in Copenhagen a week before other national leaders and hinting that it was discourteous to the Danish hosts.

Mr Sarkozy has been sounding off against Mr Obama for the past few months, saying he is overrated and all style over substance. It is possible that the French leader has not recovered from Mr Obama’s refusal to drop in at the Élysée Palace in June, when he spent two nights in Paris.

This week L’Express magazine devoted its cover to “Sarkozy’s Obama obsession”, saying he is infuriated by the “irrational magic” that surrounds the US leader. “Politics is more than form and glamour, it is about issues,” Mr Sarkozy — or Chou-chou, as his wife calls him — was quoted as saying.

The Elle style jury, led by Nathalie Rykiel, of the Sonia Rykiel house, said that the emphasis this year was on strong personalities who shone with a distinctive style. “Mrs Obama resembles no one else — her style is unique,” said Elle. “She encourages young designers and has succeeded in imposing the waisted cardigan as official dress.”

That was enough to knock Ms Bruni, a career supermodel who has, as a political wife, developed a demure new Dior-dressed style, off top spot — although she came in for warm praise. She was credited with changing her look on arriving at the palace after marrying Mr Sarkozy last year in what was dubbed her Jackie Kennedy look. “She has managed to invent a style of First Lady à la française,” said Elle. “She always gets it right.”

Rama Yade, 33, Mr Sarkozy’s Senegalese-born junior Sports Minister, came third, with Princess Letizia of Spain fourth and Ségolène Royal, the Socialist party maverick, in fifth place. It was a pity that Ms Royal had reverted to “smart little dresses without style” after changing her look a couple of years earlier, said Elle.

Missing from this year’s political list was Rachida Dati, the glamour figure in Mr Sarkozy’s Cabinet until he dismissed her in June.

The promotion of Mrs Obama, who was proclaimed best-dressed by the US edition of Vanity Fair magazine in August, marks a change in the fashionistas’ view of her. In her early months French commentators faulted her for style errors and a provincial look.

By contrast, Ms Bruni’s inability to take first place may reflect a fading of France’s love affair with her. Last week a photograph of Ms Bruni in the nude went unsold at a Paris auction after bids failed to reach the €5,000 (£4,500) reserve price. It sold on Monday to an undisclosed buyer for €6,000.

The winners in Elle's other seven categories were:

Stylista: Tilda Swinton
Total-noir: Valerie Lemercier (French actress-comedian)
British Girl: Alexa Chung
Sexy bombe: Scarlett Johansson
Fashion pointue: Natalia Vodianova
Red Carpet: Penelope Cruz
It Girl: Elettra Wiedermann

these are on my wishlist year-round:

How Do Successful Women Keep Their Husbands Happy?
by Eleanor Mills
from The Times Online

This week an American journal called Sex Roles has published a report on Female Breadwinners. In America, nearly a third of households have a woman bringing in the main wage; in the UK 11 per cent of women outearn their men – predicted to be 25 per cent or more by 2030 (following the trends of girls massively outperforming boys at school and university and the consequent genderquake in the professions: already 60 per cent of new solicitors are women).

Of course being a mum and the main source of the family income is not an easy gig; I call it doing the double shift. The researchers found that many women denigrate their husbands’ contribution around the house to make themselves feel better about their absence.

It is true that many FBWs are superwomen – I bumped into one at a party the other day who told me that for years she had earnt all the money but also organised absolutely everything around the house; her husband was supposed to be an architect but didn’t do much of that. She would be shooting up to London on the train from the family home in Surrey to put in a sixteen hour day while arranging the kids’ play dates and running the family shop from her Blackberry.

The research suggests that women do this to still feel involved with their families while being absent and say their husbands are useless around the house to make themselves feel better.

That is not a pattern I recognise from my own life, or that I would recommend. Sure much of the kids’ social lives fall to me to arrange but my husband is a domestic God. He shops, plans what we are going to eat (I cook), tidies up, organises the household and is much neater and more houseproud than I am. He is also a fantastic warm, patient and loving father; I wouldn’t last a day without all his efforts; I may earn more money but we are equals, partners, we just contribute in different spheres.

There are flashpoints, of course. On those days when one of my girls is ill but I’ve got to be at the office for a crucial 9am meeting, it is he who takes the day off. Often he’s not thrilled about it, but the pure economics of the situation mean that my job has to take priority. He knows that – but it is never something that I would use against him in an argument or at any other time.

The inbuilt imbalance of power means that care of the male ego is an integral part of making an FBW marriage work. All the women I know in that role have different strategies.

One friend advocates having sex and making supper even when you don’t feel like it; her view is that men are simple creatures and if you satisfy their physical needs you can get away with pretty much anything else. (It certainly works for her…)

My husband is an obsessive Arsenal fan; he has a season ticket and a free pass from me to go to as many matches as he likes.

But while researching a big piece for the Sunday Times Magazine recently I talked to many younger couples where - perhaps because of a more entrenched sense of equality in their generation - the ego massage seemed to be much less necessary and the men less worried about being seen as emasculated because they took on the domestic role. Interestingly this wasn’t just a middle class issue – the recession has laid waste to many blue collar industries both here and in America, so increasingly across the classes women can get jobs while men are forced to take on more of the childcare.

I spent one of the most moving and inspiring mornings of my life at a fathers' group in Llanelli Wales where a group of tough unemployed Welshmen had redefined themselves and masculinity by taking great pride and self satisfaction in being really fantastic parents. Perhaps more Female Bread Winners are the culmination of the feminist dream that the sexes should be more equal.

for the record: I am an avid supporter of the stay at home mum; I would be very happy managing my household 24/7, and would never view it as anything less than an equally important role to the breadwinner.

this is the dress i have coveted for what seems like forever...

from US Vogue July 07

I am going to hell for saying this but...

This woman pays a not-insignificant amount of money to maintain herself. I am in full agreement with spending dineros on botox, facials and/or whatever it takes to make one feel and look better. Good on her.

However, on reading this article and looking at her photograph, my one and only overriding thought is

"How about a boob job???"

Las Mujeres at Thanksgiving

We had family visiting from Mexico, Houston, New Jersey and Manhattan

Thursday night was a blast -- a humungous dinner followed by

a dance party extraordinaire!

20 people kicking their heels up til the early hours

-- I gave a lot of thanks for having such a wonderful extended family --

serious luxury

1. missoni cashmere legwarmers from net-a-porter

2. a leather helmet from Tod's

3. jewellery boxes and cases from Smythson, Pickett and Anya Hindmarch

and i thought there was a recession on...

action shot - probably the furthest shortlegs Flor has ever got off the ground

wedding dresses from j crew

not that i'm engaged or anything, but one of my dearest friends is, and i have been "helping her" by spending way too much time browsing wedding sites. before that i spent many hours looking at engagement rings with her fiance.

anyway, i have developed a huge liking for the wedding dresses that j.crew sells. they're beautiful in their simplicity and elegance. no frou frou crap.

i need to get a life (or get married).

I conclude (after years of voraciously style-stalking people) that the Milanese do it best, followed by the Parisians, the Londoners and then the New Yorkers.





This just arrived in my inbox:

CESAR MILLAN was scheduled to perform at the Patriot Center on Sunday December 6, 2009, at 5:30PM unfortunately that performance have been cancelled. You will receive an automatic credit back to your charge card minus the non-refundable processing fee of $4.00. If tickets were purchased at an Outlet or the box offices please contact them directly.

I am in mourning.
La Flor y El Chiquitin

Snail Omelette and Chanterelles

Sounds gross I know. I forget the French name, which sounds so much more inviting.

Anyway, I used canned snails which meant half the work was already done. I sauteed them in olive oil with garlic (which I then discarded), shallots and chopped parsley. I splashed in a little chicken stock as it was quite dry. In another pan, I sauteed the sliced chanterelles in lots of butter (around three tablespoons), seasoned with salt and then set them aside in a warm place. In a third pan, I made up an omelette and when almost cooked I placed the snails on one half, flipped it shut and then popped it on a plate. By the way, I put in a bit of heavy cream when making the omelette, it makes the end result a little bit fluffier than when using water or regular milk. I served the mushrooms alongside the omelette. Not bad considering I had nothing in the fridge, so to speak!