Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The New Year's Eve dress

Tomorrow, we are at the end of another year! So we will celebrate, laugh, play and have fun. Put the champagne on ice, prepare 12 grapes, think of your 12 wishes and put on your outfit to rock the world...

For New Year's Eve, I always like to get dressed completely in white for good luck. This year I will break this ritual since I will put on this Bordeaux dress. I think this dress shines by its elegance and simplicity.

When I found this silk Bordeaux dress at Tattoo (some fifteen years back) I thought it was perfect! But I did not wear it for that New Year’s Eve, as I got sick and had to stay in bed. I have only worn it on one occasion since then. For some time now, it has been stored in my wardrobe...

Still as beautiful as the first day, I will wear it with jewels and these new ballerinas by Zilian.

What about you? Are you going to wear a new outfit or take something from your wardrobe? I am eager to read your thoughts!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Sangria Spanish Cocktail

This photo was taken this summer when I last made Sangria… I thought it would be appropriate to share the recipe with you, as this is the perfect cocktail for big parties all year round.

Imagine a beautiful New Year’s Eve table or a summer table in the garden or on the terrace decorated with wild flowers…with a selection of tapas and a nice pitcher of Sangria... Nobody can resist it, trust me. You will find my family recipe below. Salud!

Ingredients for 10 glasses

1 bottle of Rioja red wine
75 cl Sprite or 7Up
8 cl red Port
8 cl triple sec (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
8 cl Cognac
Juice and zest of two oranges
Juice and zest of two lemons
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch of grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
Use seasonal fruit (for mine I used summer fruits: apple, pears, grapes, strawberries, melon, peaches…)
4 tablespoons sugar

• Prepare the "Spanish Sangria" in a large salad bowl.
• Cut the fruit into pieces and put in the bowl.
• Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon, slice the other into thin slices and put in the bowl.
• Cut the peel of the oranges in a long spiral with a peeler and squeeze the juice and put in the bowl.
• Add the wine, alcohol, sugar, nutmeg, ginger and stir well to melt the sugar. 1 also add a cinnamon stick.
• Soak for a day or overnight before serving (the longer Sangria soaks, the better)
• Add the Sprite or 7Up
• If mixed in a bowl add ice cubes before serving with a ladle.
• If mixed in a pitcher, pour directly into the glasses and add an ice cube.
• Serve in red wine glasses

There are many recipes for sangria; this is the basic traditional Spanish recipe. It derives its name from its colour (sangre is the Spanish word for blood).

Monday, 28 December 2015

H by Rose

Santa Claus has been very generous with me this Christmas ... I loved all the gifts I received and this time I was a good girl and I waited to open all the presents on Christmas Day and not before - with the exception of those I received from my mum... like I said already, I couldn't help myself there!!!

Among the gifts, there was a small black bag, with lots of glitter and H BY ROSE written in black letters, that caught my attention. How come I do not know this jewellery shop and sweetheart does? According to his words "it caught my eye during our walks in Carouge"
Funny, I do not remember... but that is him - very discreet, yet attentive to everything around him...

Well, I loved the simple silver necklace he offered me! I therefore decided to tell you about this wonderful jewellery shop... because I love to share nice addresses with beautiful things that won’t break the bank with my lady readers (the gents are welcome to share the secret too!).

As its website is in French, let me tell you a thing or two about H By Rose.

H by Rose opened its first shop in the city centre of Geneva in 2013 and in 2014 a second shop was opened in Carouge.

The shops are intended to create the same harmony, they are both the work of the same Italian craftsman.

The graphite walls, stone floors, Alcantara and precious wood provide the perfect setting for the collections of gold and silver jewellery with diamonds, precious stones and pearls.

Should you want a tailor-made piece of jewellery, the Carouge shop has a comfortable and discreet VIP lounge for those who wish to discuss their project with the founder, Sandrine Cohen.
Rue Saint-Victor 31 - 1227 Carouge
Boulevard Helvétique 28 - 1207 Genève

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas

I wish you a magical Christmas with lots of smiles, full of joy and health, spent in the company of those you love most.

I have translated and shortened this very long poem which I dedicate to anyone who is alone or feeling lonely at this time of the year.

"Need a friend" by Vinicius de Moraes

He must be somewhat human, just have feelings, just have a heart.
He needs to talk and to be quiet, above all he must know how to listen.
He must love poetry, the dawn, the birds, the sun, the moon, the winds and the songs of the breeze.
He must love his neighbour and respect the pain of passers-by in the street.
He must keep secrets without sacrifices.
We need a friend with the same tastes, who will be moved when called friend. Who knows how to talk about simple things and memories of youth.
We need a friend so as not to go crazy, to say what we have seen that is beautiful and sad during the day, aspirations and achievements, dreams and reality.
We need a friend who tells us that life is worth living, not because life is beautiful, but because he is our friend.
We need a friend to stop our crying. Not to live in the past perched in search of lost memories.
We need a friend who pats us on our shoulders, either smiling or crying, but who calls us friend and makes us aware that we are still living.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

2 days to go before Christmas!

This will probably be my look for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This lovely mint pullover, a gift from my mum, and these white pants. Comfortable, simple and fresh.

Reader’s Look:
Pullover: Mum's Christmas gift
Jewellery: clover earrings and ring
Loose pants: Alberto Bini
High heels shoes: Bagatt

Have a mellow Wednesday!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Pineapple with ginger syrup

Sunday, I made this simple and delicious dessert…I think that it can be a beautiful dessert for a Christmas table, along with the other traditional Christmas cakes. A fresh fruit dessert with an exotic touch is always welcome…

1 pineapple
1 piece of fresh ginger
180g sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 cup peeled pistachios

1. Peel the pineapple and save the most perfect leaves as a decoration.
2. Remove the central part of the pineapple and cut the flesh into pieces.
3. Pour the pineapple in a bowl and add the peeled and grated ginger. Sprinkle with a little boiling water, cover and allow to stand for about half an hour.
4. Drain the liquid into a saucepan and add the sugar and the lemon juice. Simmer over a low heat for about 5 minutes.
5. Allow the liquid to cool and pour over the pineapple. Leave the mixture to stand for an hour or more.
6. Serve in individual glass bowls decorated with pineapple leaves and salted roast pistachios, roughly chopped with their skin.

Serves 4-6

Monday, 21 December 2015

My Christmas Table

Hello ladies! This may be a crazy time around your home, with the feverish Christmas feast preparations…Today, my post is in response to a faithful reader and friends who asked me for decorating tips for a Christmas table. Therefore, I prepared this post instead of answering each one individually.

I love decorating tables for entertaining friends (my family lives far away). It is one of the things I like doing most, whether for a romantic tête à tête dinner, for a birthday or for the Christmas and Easter holidays.

The Christmas table is very important, because we come together around it and spend several hours sharing good conversation, laughter and, of course, delicious food!

For Christmas, I prefer a simple table without a theme. This will be my Christmas table - I hope you like it!

White is always my colour of choice for a Christmas table. Therefore, I set the table with a white tablecloth and napkins and white dishes to match.

I mixed the traditional and the modern: I put a beautiful and delicate lace tablecloth, a gift from my mum a long time ago, in the centre of the table.

I usually decorate the centre of the table with natural elements to give colour. However, this year I opted for elements of Christmas decoration: baubles, stars and candles.

I'm a fan of candles, so they are a must for the Christmas table! I have these little lanterns from last year: their decorations revolve with the heat of the candles, quite fairy-like.... I combined them with the “vin chaud” candles that I bought at the Montreux Christmas Market (their scent is simply gorgeous). The idea here is to have different heights of light to create a beautiful effect and a welcoming atmosphere

Most of my decorations are from the El Corte Inglès department store. They have a wonderful selection of Christmas articles to make you lose your head - and their prices are attractive too.

As you can see there is nothing expensive or over the top, you just need to use a little imagination!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Oriental White Lily

What more can I say about my love for beautiful flowers and their scents or succulents and their Feng Shui benefits?!

What embellishes any interior more than flowers and succulents? They are stylish, joyful and alive - I dislike dried or artificial flowers - I only love living things…

Thursday, after my grocery shopping, when I saw this beautiful lily branch, I took it home with me.... and couldn't resist photographing these lovely little flowers!

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I leave you with my photo gallery of this week flowers.

Symbolism & meaning of the oriental lily

In the language of flowers, the oriental white lily has a religious connotation: it symbolises the Virgin Mary. It is the emblem of purity of heart, sweetness, virtue and innocence. It is a token of the nobility of feelings.

This majestic flower arouses admiration. Its pleasing smell, its elegance and its good vase life make the lily a perfect flower for bouquets and flower arrangements. Moreover, it is used in various cosmetics. Mixing the petals of an oriental lily with honey has been known to soften skin.

Last but not least, it symbolises wealth. It has become popular as a congratulatory gift for those who have found their dream job or who have been recently promoted.

I wish you all a fabulous weekend!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Rod Stewart - Merry Christmas, Baby

As Christmas draws ever closer, I thought I would share with you my top festive music pick.  A very good friend was kind enough to offer me Merry Christmas, Baby by Rod Stewart. Normally, I don't like Christmas albums or songs, they tend to be "cheesy".  However, this album by Rod is a lovely collection of Christmas standards which he has re-visited beautifully.  The songs have a jazz and swing feel to them and his voice is surprisingly smooth and sweet.  As it was released in 2012, you may not find it in the shops, but it is available on iTunes and I would thoroughly recommend it to add to the Christmas atmosphere of your home.  Happy listening!

The gifts keep coming... Let’s see if they will remain wrapped until Christmas, I have already opened mum's presents... couldn't help it!

Meanwhile, all I need is Rod Stewart and a cup of tea...

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

DIY - Christmas Tin Baskets

For Christmas, I thought of sharing with you the idea of a Do It Yourself tin gift basket, which is a fun, easy and quick activity. It is also a way of making a special gesture for someone special to show how much you care…

Start by choosing a theme, select a few products accordingly, buy a nice tin basket and arrange it beautifully. Et voila, job done!

The two tin baskets shown here were prepared a while ago, but with a touch of Christmas decoration, they would be perfect for now. I hope you like this post and that it inspires you.

Birthday gift in a kit tin...
My mum is a very discreet and private, so I'll say just that she is wonderfully kind and has a passion for aquagym which she attends religiously three times a week. Come rain, cold or storm, she doesn’t miss a lesson. So, for her birthday a few months ago, I offered her a nice gift accompanied by this little kit in a tin that I put together. She adores Naturaline cosmetics from Coop City Shop. Thus, I selected a few products for her aquagym and I added two of her favourite dark chocolate bars.

For the birthday kit I used:
A medium tin basket (I bought mine at L'échappée belle)
Basil/Lemongrass shower gel
Mint/Bamboo body lotion
Rhododendron of the Alps daytime anti-aging cream
Macadamia oil and pomegranate extract lip balm
Shower cap
Massage flower
Villars candied orange peel dark chocolate bar
Villars whole hazelnut dark chocolate bar

Spa gift in a kit tin...
A few months ago, I was pleased to receive a visit from a dear friend who lives abroad. She is very feminine with a penchant for spa: cosmetics and all girly things. I thought a spa gift in a kit tin was without contest the best choice. My friend adored this gift basket – just as I took pleasure in arranging it for her.  She is a real ray of sunshine.

For the spa kit I used:
A small tin basket (I bought mine at L'échappée belle)
Claudalie “Thé des Vignes” shower gel
Bag of orange blossom bath crystals, (Autour du Bain)
Linen and cotton massage glove (Autour du Bain)
Maybelline wine shimmer nail polish
Naturaline lavender feet moisturiser      

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Comfy look for a cool dinner at Funky Claude's Bar, Montreux

The first photo was taken with my smartphone last Summer, I just wanted you to see Montreux, such a lovely background…this small town is well worth a visit…

My style is primarily based on comfort. For our day getaway to Montreux, I dressed very warmly. A padded jacket, gloves, a girly pom pom hat and a colourful scarf to brighten this basic look during the grey winter days! All my outfit and accessories are from the classy, gorgeous boutique called L’Effrontée.

We were lucky with the weather, neither rainy nor windy. The temperature was 4 degrees, but when you walk around a Christmas market you forget the cold…

After strolling in the market, we headed to my favourite restaurant in Montreux, Funky Claude's Bar.

Every time I come here I'm happy because I know that I will spend a wonderful evening.
I love the warm and elegant decoration, in shades of red and brown, with a wooden bar, black and white photographs of artists, marble tables, armchairs and leather sofas and soft lighting conducive to privacy. 

There is a large plasma TV and a stage to the side of the bar. From 7pm you can enjoy good live music while enjoying great cocktails and succulent and hearty burgers.

Sweetheart chose a tomato juice and I, their signature cocktail, Passion Star (Ketel One Citroen vodka, Galliano, pineapple juice, lemon juice, Monin vanilla syrup, passion fruit topped up with champagne). I STRONGLY recommend this cocktail to die for! We ordered the Chalet Burger (with cheddar instead of Tomme Vaudoise cheese)... I was not able to finish my dish, so we did not have dessert, we were full... but I can tell you that their crème brûlée is gorgeous.

If you are traveling to Montreux do not miss the opportunity to come to this classy and yet casual restaurant-bar.
The staff is friendly and professional ... and the atmosphere really cool...You can even dance if you are not shy because the music is fantastic...

Funky Claude's Bar is on the ground floor of the Fairmont Montreux Palace.
Av . Claude Nobs 2
1820 Montreux
Tél +41 21 962 14 00