Sunday, 22 June 2014

BLUE: La Casa Azul, Mexico

Casa Azul is the former home of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, where she lived and worked.
See more here and here.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tricks To Make Your Belly Look Smaller

In two weeks time, I shall be a Godmother for the first time! 
I shall be christening a baby boy (or rather a toddler).
That means looking for an outfit to cover  a)arms and b)legs, plus camouflage my bier-belly. Here is an interesting post I found about the belly part. Hope it comes useful to you, too!
P.S. I looove Epsom salt baths! So here is my excuse to steam in my bath.

If you have a few extra pounds, then you surely know that they usually show around your belly or the dreaded “love handles”. No matter if it is a beer belly or you just have a sweet tooth and that tends to show, there are several tricks that you can use in order to shrink your stomach, at least temporary. Are you going to a wedding or to the prom and you want that dress to fit you perfectly? Here are some efficient tips that can shrink your belly quickly and without the hassles!
1. Take A Bath With The Amazing Epsom Salt
 The Epsom salt bath can actually “deflate” your belly quickly and efficiently, and the greatest thing about it is that you only need two cups of the salt. Pour the salt into the water and then simply soak in it for half an hour. The reason why the Epsom salt bath will do wonders on your belly is because the salt will simply “extract” all the excess water in your body.
2. Hot Pepper Jelly
It is one of the most versatile spicy ingredients that you can use, and it has been found to be highly efficient in the morning, when eaten along with your regular breakfast. 

3. Try A One-Day Detox DietA one-day detox diet is highly recommended every once in a while, given the fact that it will support the proper functioning of the good bacteria found in your digestive tract, while helping your body eliminate all the toxins that have accumulated in your GI at the same time. Pickles are a great choice when it comes to these “crash detox diets”!
4. Remove All Gassy Foods From Your DietIn addition to water retention, another common cause of bloating is the consumption of gassy foods, that are known to produce more gas than normal goods in your gastrointestinal tract. Some of these gassy foods include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, onions as well as certain legumes and even Brussels sprouts.
5. Quit Using The Traditional Table SaltEven if you only stop using salt for a couple of days, you will immediately notice the difference: the salt in your diet makes your tummy bloat like no other ingredient. Fortunately, there are many different ways in which you can easily spice up your foods.
6. Drink More Tea Or Black CoffeeIf you have a slow digestion, then you should consider drinking more black tea or black coffee in-between the meals, as this will support your digestive function and help you eliminate the processed food faster and without experiencing any bloating. However, try to drink your coffee black, without any added milk or sugar, in order to get the best out of its benefits.
7. Eat More Watermelon!You may be tempted to say that watermelon is your best ally when you are trying to lose weight – and the truth is that it truly is, given the fact that it contains very few calories and it is more than 90% water. However, watermelon is your best friend if you are trying to shrink your belly, thanks to a compound called amino acid arginine found in this fruit, that is said to promote weight loss. Watermelon also increases the lean muscle mass and helps you burn more fat and calories than you normally would!
To conclude, you do not need to spend months dieting or exercising in order to shrink the stomach fat, even this is only temporary. The tips and hints mentioned above are tested and proven to come in handy, and they will surely help you as well!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Imagine:Dolce & Gabbana - Mosaico Collection

all the work and craftsmanship that goes into everyday objects.
 the imagination that goes into one piece of beautiful article of everyday use.
Like these glasses from Dolce & Gabbana 
made with mosaic
in the finest Italian tradition.

50 perfect

What will it be to be in my fifties?
I hope I will look something like this!

Cindy in Malibu and Elle in Manchester
via here and here

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Being a mom in my forties

I long thought it was best to have your kids early in life. To be able to run after them, feel like them, treat them equal and just plain sit down and play with them.
I was wrong.
In part.
I did have kids in my twenties, which was good for my body. In a sense. In the sense that I was able to cope physically with pregnancy and childbirth, without feeling threatened by the changing image of my body, because, hey! there would be time to fix this.
I didn't. Nor did I play dolls because I was too busy doing thw stuff that (you think) needs to be done so that you may sit and play with dolls.
I am an overweight mom who has been overweight in the past eighteen years or so, and especially in the last ten years, since my children stopped eating yuck mashed food, and fruits and veggies were not a food prerequisite.
Ready-for-the-oven became family staples. My cooking muscle waned and my weight rose.
But it's not just that.
Now that I am in my forties, and my kids are ready to fly off the nest, I long for a baby.
I long for mommy talk and friendship in the clan, color pops of toys (I was too much into eco when my kids were young) and strolls in proud, "look what I've made" looks of bright fluo orange trainers, grey active wear and floss frienship bracelets (they don't hurt baby like metal).
What I don't long for is crying and toothing and pooh. True. But if I did it again? I'd hire an aid. I could afford it but I didn't by choice. And I raised (too) independent kids. Good for them, and at times good for me when I'm not into cooking dinner-even frosted.
So yes, I would hire help if I could afford a cleaner.Would I  hire someone for the baby? Part-time, yes, so I could fly off guilt-free to a coffee and Vogue tete-a-tete.
Do I want a child as in birthing one, right now?
Don't know really. I might, if I could.
I fyou can, keep your mojo up.
Motherhood is bound to be brighter at 40.

Meanwhile here is a reminder of what mommyhood looks like.

Elvis for the World Cup?

I was always thrilled with sporting events.
Not being raised sporty myself, 
I enjoyed my share of the active world 
looking at people finding happiness
 in pursuing impossible tasks.

Pizzas, bier and football go perfectly together, you might think, but there certainly are alternatives, or so dear Nigella says.

So, if you are dreaming of Maracana, 
have a taste of the exotic
Take a look at whay the domestic goddess has in store for you.

I know you might not expect to find the World Cup as a leading topic on a food website, but 1) I love the World Cup, and 2) you've got to have something to snack on while you watch it, don't you?
Obviously, first up for footie food has to be my Soccermole which you probably don't need me to explain is a variant of that gorgeous creation Guacamole. Talking of gorgeous creations, my Roquamole which adds salty blue cheese to the creamy green avocados, absolutely deserves a place as you watch the soccer on the sofa. You can dip into it (as the Soccermole) with breadsticks or tortilla chips and crunch down noisily whenever things get tense. Ditto with my Peanut Butter Hummus.
Other easy-to-make, easy-to-eat soccer snacks include Quesadillas, my Cosmo Cocktail Sausages - inspired by the cocktail not the magazine! - some Mini-Meatloaves, a good grabbable bowl of Bar Nuts, some Tuna or Crab and Avocado Wraps, a Na'an Pizza or two,Lamb Patties with Hummus and Pitta or - if many beers have been downed - the incomparable Elvis Presley's Fried Peanut-Butter and Banana Sandwich.
And if you don't like the football, don't worry: there's always the food!

Let's not mess around: you want trashy, I'll give you trashy - I'll give you the King. This recipe, for want of a better word, comes from a rhinestone gem of a cookbook, Are You Hungry Tonight?, a collection of his favourite foodstuffs bought on a visit to Graceland many years back, prized ever since and a delight from cover to cover. Even my most recent addition to a library already bursting with bad-taste titles, Liberace Cooks!, can't lose him his crown.
Believe it or not, the quantities below appear in edited, attenuated form. I honour the King but I can't be him. 

  • small ripe banana
  • slices white bread
  • scant tablespoons smooth peanut butter (don't use extra smooth)
  • tablespoons butter

Mash or slice the banana. Lightly toast the bread, and then spread the peanut butter on one piece and the banana on the other. Sandwich together then fry in the butter, turning once, until each side is golden-brown. Remove to a plate, cut the sandwich carefully in half on the diagonal and eat.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Feeling racey?

Epsom Downs for Ladies Day at the Derby


Don't Die With Your Music Still In You

Hello, Friends,
Read and contemplate: Is that you?

Don't die with your music still in you is the most profound phrase I heard over and over as a child. I knew that we all incarnated in this lifetime with a purpose, with something unique that called to us and excited our soul, and the idea of dying without ever expressing the music I came here to play terrified me. It still does! I've asked myself many times what my purpose is-- why am I here?
As a child, my parents instructed me not to follow the crowd. "Try not to get caught up in what other people tell you to do," they would say. "Just follow your heart, Serena."
Later, when I was a teen, they'd tell me, "When you follow the herd, you're bound to step in shit. Avoid the herd. Think for yourself. Do what you feel is right for you."
I heard this kind of thing all the time, but it wasn't exactly easy to take such advice. Doing what I wanted and doing what was right were often not the same thing. The times in my life when I didn't make the best choices were often times of great struggle that led to enormous personal growth. I try not to judge my past; after all, I wouldn't be who I am without it!
Not dying with your music still in you is not about what you "do with" your life. It is about how you lead your life. Raising children to dance to the beat of their own drum means raising them first to hear, and then to follow, their own inner calling. It means encouraging them to follow their hearts--to listen to their intuition, and nothing else. It also means encouraging them to move forward in their lives, rather than keeping them stuck on a decision they made in the past.
Being yourself allows you to enjoy every step of your journey, without ever having to change for someone else. As I get older, I understand that life really is about the journey. While that once irked me, I now love it!
Slowly, I awakened to my true purpose. I discovered that I'm most in alignment with who I am when I'm communicating; when I am sharing knowledge that inspires me. There are myriad "jobs" that could carry out this life's purpose, but what I came to realize is that my purpose is not what I do. It's how I do it. It doesn't matter the medium I choose; it only matters that I express myself. I am expressing my purpose through this book. I don't know if I will make a career out of being a writer, and it doesn't matter. Because what I've discovered is that, when you are living on purpose, the outcome doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that your mind stays open. To everything.
Having a mind that is attached to nothing means learning to work with situations that aren't turning out as we'd want or expect. It's seeing that everything is in perfect order anyway. It's hard to see something challenging as being in perfect order, but those of us who have gone through tough times know that we'll eventually come to realize that the sun has been shining behind the clouds all along.

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