Summer Style Favourites

Summer is here! It arrived about a week ago in all its hot and humid glory.  I realise that many of my wonderful readers live in the northern hemisphere where it is all but Winter, so I hope this post doesn’t make you miss Summer too much. Only a month a go I was still carrying a light weight cardigan around with me, and now I won’t leave the house without my hat, my fan and even my parasol.  Yes, I have and use a parasol to keep the hot sun at bay.  It is the most gorgeous shade of red with frills and a bamboo handle.  It is impossibly chic I have to tell you and always gets comments from admirers.  I use it at the farmer’s markets where there is no shade to speak of, at the beach and on long walks.  

Parasols, image from here.

I’ve put together a collection of looks that I will be trying on this summer.  I think for me the keys items will be knee-length skirts and dresses, maxi skirts, shorts, espadrilles, lots of linen and cotton, and shades of white, navy and high impact colour!

 Tory Burch espadrilles via here.

Jenné Lombardo, Global Fashion Director for the W Hotels via here.

 A look from Rachel Comey Spring/Summer 2012
Lovely cotton tank and skinny denim jeans from here.


 Boyish summer style from here.
Floral skirt paired with stripes from here.


Beach dress from Free People.


 Languid Days Skirt from Anthropologie.


A look from the Mara Hoffman Summer 2012 collection.


Lace covered shorts from here.


White on white, image from the Sartorialist.


Simple cotton shift dress from here.

I love to wear hats year round, but some I keep specially for Summer use only.  I also have light-weight scarves which I wear to protect my skin from the burning sun during the day and at night from mosquitoes or an unexpected cool breeze.

Do you have any favourite Summer items that you like to wear? 




I’m quite shy about this, but I feel I must show you a pic of my new hair cut – the ‘New Do’ I told you I had decided on last week. Well, I did it and guess what? I love it!  It feels amazing to wear and it not only makes my hair look ten times thicker, but it has cut my getting ready time down to 5 minutes! Thank you so much to my fabulous and very talented hairdresser Claire – you are the best.

So if you’re thinking about a change of style with you hair, I’m telling you to go out there and just go for it – it’s liberating!

Give a frock Friday

Jennifer Aniston wearing Donna Karan Collection, photographed by Mario Testino, as seen in Australian VOGUE, June 2006.
Have a great weekend.

Source: image scanned from my own copy of Australian VOGUE, June 2006.

Rituals – Making Bagels

A few months ago I took to making bagels for my girl’s lunch boxes for school.  Let’s face it, sandwiches can be monotonous. I remember my mother giving me what felt like the same thing for lunch day in and day out for all my years of schooling – a Vegemite sandwich, a muesli bar, an apple and a frozen drink, if I was lucky.  Needless to say many times I chose not to eat my lunch and bought from the school canteen instead. School lunches these days are a high priority in the morning routine.  My girls’ school requests that there be an emphasis on no pre-packaged foods and never any chocolate, lollies, or chips, (not that I would) and no packaging, so a litter-free lunch box must be provided each day. The children police this between themselves often coming home from school telling me where I went wrong.  I was not to use plastic wrap ever! I wasn’t supposed to give them cookies – I mean, home-baked chocolate chip cookies – really?  So we came to a compromise, I still put in the home-baked cookies, but now I alternate with home-baked slices, muesli bars and their absolute favourite – bagels. 

A fresh batch of home-baked bagels cooling down.

The bagels have become something of a ritual for me, and for the family too.  Usually I bake them once a week, sometimes twice, and they always get devoured by my husband and children.  I have to make sure I save some for myself – I love them toasted with either Vegemite or peanut butter and washed down with a nice cafè latte of course.

The bagel recipe I use is full-proof because it is a recipe from Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess cookbook.  What makes these bagels so good is they are based on a traditional Jewish recipe, so that involves poaching the dough before baking in a super hot oven.  The recipe makes about 15 or so, depending on how big or small you want them to be.  My girls’ love to roll out the dough and make them with me, so it’s nice to do with family around.  

The recipe calls for strong flour, my flour of choice is organic unbleached Spelt.  The gluten in Spelt ensures a perfect dough, but it is different to wheat gluten, so it doesn’t upset my daughter Chloè’s gluten intolerance.   

1kg strong flour, plus more as necessary for kneading
1 x 7g sachet of yeast or 15g fresh yeast
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar (I use an organic raw variety)
1 tablespoon of plain oil (I use Rice Bran oil)
500 ml warm water
2 tablespoons of malt or sugar (I use organic brown sugar) for poaching the bagels
2-3 baking sheets 

Combine flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl.  
Add the sugar and the oil to the warm water and pour into a well in the centre of the flour and then mix to combine into a dough.  You can do this by hand or with a dough hook, whichever you prefer.  It doesn’t take long to do and I love the feeling of the yeast coming to life in the dough, so I do this by hand.

The dough will be very stiff and quite hard work, but keep kneading until it becomes smooth an elastic, about 10 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coast all round, then cover the bowl with cling film and leave it to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  A warm spot with no breeze is best.

Now punch the dough down, then give it another good knead.  Then divide the dough into 3 equal sized pieces.  Roll each piece into a rope, then cut each rope into 5 equal sized pieces.  Roll each piece between the palms of your hands into a ball, and then roll into another rope, circling it round to form a ring.  Seal the ends by overlapping them a little and pinching them together.

At this time, put on a large pan of water to boil.  When it boils, add the malt or brown sugar.

Sit the bagels on the baking sheets, cover with tea towels and levee for about 20 minutes, by which time they should be puffy.  Now preheat the oven to 240C or your maximum oven temperature. 

Now you can start poaching your puffy bagels.  Drop a couple at a time into the boiling water and poach for 1 minute, turning them once.  As you poach them, put them back onto the oiled baking sheets, well spaced, then bake for 10-15 minutes or until they’re shiny and golden brown.  Makes 15 bagels.

Once cool enough to touch, dig in!



*Please note that I have not added all of Nigella’s recipe commentary, you can find the recipe in detail in her book.

Sources: How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson (p.304) from and my own photograph taken with Instagram.

A New Do

So I’ve decided to cut my hair.  I’m not going to do anything crazy like I did two years ago and get the clippers to it, but I am going to take inspiration from Michelle Williams pixie and cut my long bob into something like hers I think. 

My hair has changed a great deal from what it was like a few years ago – back then it grew long ultra fast, and after having children, it had developed a nice waviness about it, quite different from the dead-straight pre-children hair I had.  Then, after a three years of a lot of unexpected life changes and much stress, the result is that my hair has become very dry and is much finer and very slow-growing, the slowest it has ever been.  

I how have an very healthy diet, one that is free from pre-packaged foods and almost exclusively organic, so I cannot understand why it is still in such bad shape.  I guess what they say is true, that your hair is an excellent indicator of past experience and health.  I think cutting it again will help it to catch up with the new healthier hair that I see is now coming through abundantly on my scalp.  

I also realise that I have to accept myself for me which means that I simply cannot ever expect to suddenly grow hair like Julia Roberts.  Julia’s locks have always been my dream hair.  

I mean look at it, isn’t it just amazing? I’ve dreamt of waking up with hair like hers.  Aside from her other wonderful attributes, she really lucked out in the hair department.

On the positive, Julia doesn’t suit a pixie at all.  Remember her as Tinkerbell in the movie Hook? No, a pixie just won’t do for her.  So the bright side of this is that by the end of this week I shall have the cutest pixie cut in the neighbourhood.  Now that’s something to look forward to!     



Sources: google images.

Give a frock Friday

Kate Bosworth in Tom Ford embroidered silk satin gown with lace and velvet from the Autumn/Winter 2011 collection featured in the November issue of Instyle magazine and styled by Brad Goreski.   

Ah green, my favourite colour.  How I love thee.  Give me anything in green and I’m gonna wear it to death.  Tom Ford is such a talented fellow, don’t you think?  

Have a great weekend.



*I have not been able to find the name of the photographer for this image.  If anyone can help, please leave a comment with the name of the photographer so I can give credit.  Thank you! 

Image source: bradgoreski.tumblr 

Yoga and Me

Christy Turlington photographed by Steven Klein for Vogue October 2002

The truth is I have been trying to find an angle to work in a post about yoga for a while now. I’ve not written about yoga before and as it quite an important part of my life I have wanted to write about it over and over but I have struggled with how it would fit in with the whole ethos of my blog. I write about personal style, fashion and lifestyle, yoga seems so far removed from all of that to be honest. But, when I look at these pictures of Christy Turlington taken for Vogue in 2002 I kind of think… oh well, I’m just going to jump right in!

I guess you could say I have a deep and meaningful relationship with yoga. I find that my life is so much more chilled when I have a regular practice. I love the feeling I get when I am in what I like to call the “yoga zone”, which is me in yoga class practicing my asanas with my eyes closed, while all the while listening to the guidance of my amazing yoga teacher Angela. I love that certain poses challenge me from week to week, and how each time I practice, I get more accomplished with other poses.  

Yoga can offer up unexpected challenges too depending on what’s going on inside my head or with my body.  Sometimes this might be as simple as not being able to fully extend into pigeon if one of my hips is particularly tight, or if my shoulder is playing a game of “no, you’re not gonna get there tonight Heidi”.  Each class offers up the same wonderfully fulfilling mind, body and spirit benefits of yoga but it also allows me to be open to receiving and accessing insights that being in tune with my mind, body and soul offers.

I always feel like I’m really living in the moment when I practice yoga, do feel that way too?  

Here are a few perspectives from other yoga enthusiasts on the practice of yoga.

“I was interested in cleaning my body on a deeper level. Yoga really purifies your organs and blood. You feel that. You feel that circulation of energy. But the real lesson yoga gives you is learning how to be present.” – Christy Turlington
“Yoga is a metaphor for life. You have to take it really slowly. You can’t rush. You can’t skip to the next position. You find yourself in very humiliating situations, but you can’t judge yourself. You just have to breathe, and let go. It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul.” – Madonna
“Like music, yoga is a journey — one that is long enough so you keep developing, and keep learning. I don’t see an end to it.” – Sting

“Yoga is for everyone. I do an hour-and-a-half a day. It restores you. […] People say: ‘Oh no, it’s all right for you, but I haven’t got time.” It’s a false notion. We can all make time. There’s only one you – you’re only given one body, not a load of bodies.” – Trudie Styler
“Yoga gave me relief like nothing else; it made me a better person and a better mother.” – Michelle Williams
I just love this one from Gwyneth Paltrow: “Ashtanga yoga has completely changed me. I try to do it every day, and the effect is amazing. It’s not just during the hours that I’m practicing. It’s about how it filters through into the rest of my life. It makes all the other bullshit dissipate. Who I am has emerged, and everything else has gone by the wayside.” 

What’s my favourite pose?  Child pose, for it’s restorative qualities.  I love how you can be holding a pose, sweating, breathing, really feeling it and then you get to go into child pose afterward.  You don’t get to do that in a gym work out, right?



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Vanessa Traina – classic, polished cool

Over the past year or more I have been increasingly drawn to the stylings of Vanessa Traina, the always elegantly clad Vanity Fair Annual Best Dressed list alumni, fashion editor of the New York Times T Magazine and face of French label Maje.

I am not interested in the fact that Vanessa Traina is the daughter of super successful romance novelist Danielle Steele, nor that as such she has been touted as a society princess and is therefore, privileged.  What I am interested in is Vanessa’s uniquely cool sense of style and the capsule collection she designed earlier this year for Maje.

“I think they were a little surprised when I showed up to the first meeting with my inspiration folder and the silhouettes already plotted out and pretty ready to go,” Traina says with a laugh.  “This was a fun experience for me, but I see myself more as a stylist than a designer.” – T Magazine

Her 24-piece collection focused on season-less dressing, which is appealing to me because I live in a part of the world where the seasons tend to melt into one and the idea of having one wardrobe as opposed to one for every season is not only exciting because I get to wear my favourites year round, but thrifty, nest -ce pas?

Vanessa photographed in her apartment for Harper’s Bazaar.

Vanessa’s personal style has been quietly and expertly refined over the time since she appeared on my radar.  She has evolved from dressing with more femininity to dressing with a more overtly androgynous tone.  She also likes to stick to what I call the stylist’s uniform – basic black.  I have found that it’s not easy to find a anything recent of Vanessa in colour unless it’s for Maje.

 Vanessa wearing Altuzarra at the 2010 CDFA fashion awards.

“Today as all the days my style is rather androgynous. It is a mixture of pieces, both men and women. Definitely things comfortable to wear. – l’officiel magazine sept 2010

 Vanessa in 2008, image from
 Image from Hanneli.

I recently read an interview with Vanessa on Into the Gloss where she expressed her concern for an impulsive piercing that at 26 she thinks may have not been such a good idea.

Image from Into the Gloss.

“I just got my ear pierced—I went with my little sister who is covered in piercings, she’s super punk rock—to Haight Street in San Francisco just to buy jewelry and I walked out with this piercing. I felt so cool for a day, and then I woke up the next morning and thought, ‘Am I an idiot? Did I really just get a new piercing at 26?’ But now I kind of want to do the other side to match!” – Into the Gloss.

 Image from Hanneli.
Image from Maje.

I guess I am drawn to Vanessa’s style because even though she looks polished and cool, she has that air of nonchalance that French women in particular seem to have – well the ones whose photographs end up online seem to, and it’s their pulled-together insouciance that I find so infectious and appealing.



Sources: Into The Gloss,,, tfs, T Magazine, Hanneli, L’officiel.

Give a frock Friday

A scene from “Jungle Fever” editorial photographed by Hans Feurer and styled by Francoise Ha Van as seen in Paris Vogue June/July 2003.

Facteur Cèleste coat in flax and silk double cotton calico, Nakul Sen muslin dress of silk embroidered with pearls, underneath is a Vannina Vesperini dress of silk and lace from Calais, and worn over the hair is a Dries Van Noten silk scarf featuring glass beads.

It was the colourful coat that initially caught my eye, but after looking closer, the detail of this outfit is mesmerising. 
This is why I love layering so much!  Beautifully put together layers of varying texture which are simple and elegant and so well defined by stylist Francoise Ha Van.

Have a great weekend.


Source: image scanned from my own copy of Paris Vogue, June/July 2003.

Loulou de la Falaise, an elegant bohemian

Over the weekend I learned that legendary muse to Yves Saint Laurent, Loulou de la Falaise passed away.  She was only 63. 

Loulou in her home, photographed for Elle Decoration.

Loulou de la Falaise, (don’t you just love how that rolls off the tongue?) is said to have inspired le smoking, YSL’s tuxedo for women which of course became an inspiration for women the world over after its creation. 

 Loulou with Yves Saint Laurent.
 Loulou modelling in the 70s.
 Loulou at her bohemian best.

Loulou was also a model and jewellery designer for the house of YSL until Saint Laurent’s retirement in 2002, after which she began her own business and opened a boutique in Paris, but she soon tired of the boring behind-the-scenes elements related to running her own business.  

According to newspaper The Telegraph, being called a muse did not sit well with Loulou until later in her career:

“To me a muse comes to have tea and cookies and a chat, and looks frightfully smart, then goes to a cocktail party. I didn’t see it as someone who worked as hard as I did,” she said in 2006. “But now that Saint Laurent is part of history, it makes me a part of history, so, yes, finally it’s not such a bad thing to have been a muse.” – Lou Lou de la Falaise.

Australian Vogue’s Natasha Inchely called her “An elegant rebel”, while editor-in-chief Kirstie Clements recalls: 

“I was on a shoot for Australian Vogue with her back in the late `80s. Nancy [Pilcher] was the stylist, I was the assistant. We were all so nervous thinking she would be a prima donna but she was so warm and friendly. All she wanted for lunch was a chicken sandwich and a beer! Chicest, chicest woman I’d ever seen.”

Loulou died on Saturday after a long illness.  

Certainly her passing is the end of an era.

Sources: Elle Decoration, The Telegraph,, The Frisky,

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Give a frock Friday.

Eva Green wearing Christian Dior Haute Couture on the Riviera at the Cannes Film Festival.  Photographed by Hugh Stewart for British Vogue, September 2007.

This gown is exquisite, imagine wearing this?  Lucky Eva.

Have a great weekend.


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