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Gwyneth Paltrow… Making Us Think… What Makes A Great Relationship?

The Taming Of The Shrew- Silent Movie Still.

image – taming of the shrew


Gwyneth Paltrow did get a hammering in the media for her “conscious uncoupling” statement…  like it or not, they were talked about.

On the other hand, our discussion on this subject lead me to thoughts on the qualities and elements that do make a relationship great and endurable.

~ ~ ~

Spending time with one person over a long period of time, despite the joy, is marked with challenges.

It would be naive of us to think otherwise… and to embark on a serious commitment without this understanding would be foolish. Long term partnerships require work… endless compromise and patience… but the rewards are there.

The rewards are the greatest gift of all.

~ ~ ~

I have always believed that what holds many long standing relationships together is history… a shared history.

Time together means memories are created, battles are fought and won. A life together is built, explored and developed… experiences are shared. Commonality bonds us together…

History binds us through the big and the small… Without consciously thinking about it, when we choose a long term partner, we are writing our history with that person.

Our lives will be intertwined forever… for however long we are together or apart.

A relationship cannot function on the past alone… for a relationship is a living, breathing and constantly changing momentum…

As we grow, we change, as does our relationship… but our shared experience, our friends, our family … memories of great happiness… can oftentimes give us the strength to forge on when the difficulties seem insurmountable.

~ ~ ~

Your comments of last week about relationships were instilled with great, great wisdom.

Many of you shared the same sentiments when it came to the qualities needed to sustain a long term relationship.


In summary… ten lines… ten I will remember… ten, that must surely signify a deep and profound love.


Trust, loyalty and perseverance…

Honesty and consideration for each other.

Compassion and courtesy…

Commitment and communication.

Patience and understanding… be open minded and flexible in your thoughts.

Choose your battles…

Be simpatico with your goals and dreams…

Kindness… don’t take each other for granted.

Respect and acceptance…

Friendship and laughter.


Did we miss any? What other qualities do you believe contributes to a long and happy relationship? xv


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Emmanuelle Alt -Shop French Essence


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Charlize Theron Wears Jeans Well…

Charleze Theron - Google Images


Jeans are so versatile… and that’s what I need in my life when it comes to wardrobe decisions.

I can’t stand to be over packed when travelling and I don’t want to waste my time thinking about what to wear.

That’s why I relate to Emmanuelle Alt’s way of dressing and why I loved this image of Charlize Theron.


Sexy shoes and a plaid shirt… we can do that… Easy.

Love the strappy booties… makes a change from my favourite stilettos.

She looks relaxed, chic and stylish… whether you wear the rips or not is a personal preference.


The shirt dresses down the skinnies yet the high heels could take you anywhere.

Change the heels for the New Balance sneakers…and walk all day.

Add a jacket over the shirt… even more fancy.


Have a fabulous weekend… xv




She Wears Jeans Well

the plaids

etoile isabel marant  //  band of outsiders  // nsf rhodes // madewell ex boyfriend  // madewell penfield


the booties

aquazzura belgravia lattice  //  aquazzura sexy thing suede cutout  //  jillie bootie  //  derry open toe bootie  


shop french essence for all the extras


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Nike Says… Just Do It….

Nike - Nah, I'm good


Today is the Day… and it was.

Making the commitment to live a healthier life… up the exercise and cut the snacks… is easier said than done.

Over the last few months as I have worked my way through a sugar and mostly carb free zone I have learned one very, very important lesson.


Success is all about mental state.

Having the right mental approach makes it happen, makes it easier… makes it doable.

Without a 100% + mental engagement… forget it… the results won’t come.


I have been on diets and played with exercise before… often successfully but never maintainable.

My commitment wasn’t there… not really… I wasn’t unwavering in my belief that I could work and earn the results I craved.

My dedication wasn’t sufficient.

You have to want it, really want it.


My path was full of… ” one day off won’t hurt” … ” I’ll start again tomorrow”… ” an extra one can’t make too much difference”…

I am sure you understand what I mean.

This time I feel differently, my determination is solid and intact… and I am in it for the long haul.

No short term fixes… I must accept that results will take time and require patience.

Slow moves, nothing radical.

I know this is the only way forward, to be where I want to be.


So here’s the thing.

The unshakeable motivation is what will lose those few extra pounds… make the weights feel lighter and the miles feel shorter.

The goals are the prize.

I believe it is the mindset that sheds those unwanted pounds and tightens up those lazy muscles.

Knowing what is best and doing what’s required aren’t necessarily close companions.


Incentives for a lifestyle change can come from a range of sources but I truly believe that a new dress or an approaching event won’t cut it.

That alone won’t get you to the finish line… I know, I have forfeited mid-way many times.

The race must be run for you and by you.


A mind set of steel is what we need. Are you with me?


PS… Remember the quote from my lovely reader…

I look at lost weight like a chicken in the meat department.  Each one weighs 4-5 pounds right?  So each time I lose 5 pounds, I tell myself I lost a whole hen!!

I’m two hens down…



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Emmanuelle Alt… Taking Inspiration…

Emmanuelle Alt - Taking Inspiration

In the next few months I will be travelling around all over the place…

I am excited… I admit to never losing my love of travel.

What I don’t like is thinking about what to wear and what to pack.


Planning my wardrobe has made me focus… focus on who has a style that I like, that I find wearable and that is relatively practical.

I thought of Emmanuelle Alt.

She gets it right time and time again… her choices are classic, simple and most importantly they work for most occasions.


Alt is clever in the way she dresses… she knows what suits her and whatever she wears is a variation on a theme.

Jacket, slimline pants…flats, stilettos or shoe boots.

Her jacket changes by length or by detail… her pants and shirts change colour or formality, by season or by occasion…

She embellishes with a straightforward shape… not fussy, not frilly.

A brass button, a leather tassel…a tuxedo lapel or a longer length… the elements are different but her fashion philosophy is always the same.

Classic with a cutting edge and less is very much more.


All this has lead to an idea.

Shop French Essence has had a makeover….

Regularly I will be updating the Shop with looks that inspire…the women we admire…  from the runway… from my favourite street style fashion.

I hope that it will be an easy way for you to choose items that compliment what you already have in your wardrobe… or a spark to reinvent the pieces that you own and encouragement to wear them in a new way.


This is how it looks….

Shop French Essence.jpg

I like the way French women work their wardrobes… don’t you? 


Visit the Shop and be inspired by Emmanuelle Alt…. xv


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Going Nude…

Cate Blanchett - Oscars 2014

Going nude??

Not these days… except in my make up… :)


The season trend for fresh faced beauty and neutral shades is one that I am ready to follow.

Cate Blanchett wore it beautifully at this year’s Oscars… not to mention her gown and those super fabulous earrings.

A couple of small additions to the make-up palette… and it’s a whole new look…


This doesn’t mean I’m saying goodbye to my rouge allure velvet… no way… never, ever.

Just mixing it up a little.


Going Nude


1. prepare make up base with primer and foundation



2.  on the cheeks, using the ring finger… gently dab the rouge on to the apples of the cheeks
remember less is more and extra can always be applied.


 loving… bobbi brown pot rouge in ‘rose’


3. gently press the eye colour on the eyelids, and then using a separate brush, blend the colour within the eye socket


the best colourlaura mercier matte eye colour in ’truffle’ 


4.curl the lashes and apply a couple of coats of mascara


can’t go withoutshu uemera lash curlers  //  dior show mascara


5. lipstick … blot… and more lipstick


the best… mac cherish


Have a wonderful weekend… and thank you for the fabulous conversation this week…  xv


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