Sunday, July 29, 2012

Royal Olympic Style

Before I share the latest images of fashions that the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the Olympic events, I want to start with this picture of the Queen at the Olympic Park. As the lens looks over the Queen's shoulder, she is shown experiencing a more pensive moment as she absorbs the massive undertaking of the Olympic events and reflects back on the history.

At a reception prior to the opening ceremonies the Queen said:
"This is the third London Olympiad. My great-Grandfather opened the 1908 games in White City; my Father opened the 1948 games in Wembley Stadium, and later this evening I will take pleasure in opening the 2012 Olympic Games at Stratford, in the east of London".

Reflecting Pool                                            source martin rickett/getty

The Queen took the world on by storm in her mock portrayal as a Bond Girl for the opening ceremony and has shown the world that she does have spunk. She thought her cameo appearance was 'a bit of a laugh', and we had to agree.

The Royal family has been involved in the opening events and was especially proud today when the Queen's Granddaughter, Zara Phillips made her equestrian debut on her horse High Kingdom. It's all a good reason to smile.

Now on to some of the Olympic Styles sported by Catherine........

Prince Harry, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the Olympic flame onto the grounds at Buckingham Palace. The Royal trio wore Team Great Britain shirts, but it was once again Kate who put the best fashion foot forward.

William, Kate and Harry wear the Great Britain Olympic shirts. Kate sports her look with royal-blue coloured jeans from ZARA and Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon Wedges.

Looking great leaving as well as arriving is never a problem for Kate.

During a visit to St Beacons College for the Coach Core program, which is a partnership program with The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry; Prince William explained the athletic expertise of the trio:

" Watching me on the football field is never a pretty site.... the expression giraffe on ice springs to mind. However it is marginally less embarrassing than seeing my Brother cheat his way to becoming the fastest man on the planet"
{in reference to Prince Harry's false start sprint against Olympia Usain Bolt during a visit to Jamaica}

And with pride William spoke about his wife's sporting talent:

"Catherine on the other hand, with a tennis racket or hockey stick, is something to behold and be aware of."

Kate wore these red skinny jeans and grey hoodie to play with the Great Britain Women's Olympic Hockey team during media scrim last March. She paired the jeans with heels, a classic navy blazer and the official GB Olympic scarf proving once again that she knows how to extend her wardrobe.

The scarf at only $15 was already a sure fire seller, but the Kate style-train would make grabbing the Olympic scarf enormously popular.

When the Royal trio visited St Beacons College Kate wore a Hobbs Check Wessix dress in soft grey and cream which proved comfortable enough to play ping-pong in. She kicked off her Pied a Terre Imperia wedges to participate with the karate team.

At the reception for the opening ceremonies the Duchess wore an ice blue coat ensemble by Christopher Kane. Simple lines fitted well to her slender figure in an elegant shade that brought a defined sophistication. Kate looked stunning - again!

The Duchess in a Christopher Kane design.
I couldn't locate a full body image to show the hem and her shoes; but I love the lines of the jacket, the flat pocket placket and simple belt.

...... and William looking handsome !

Kate's blue topaz and diamond earrings by KiKi McDonough sparkle with a nod to the Olympic ring.

Wishing all the extraordinary athletes the best of show in their categories.

Friday, July 27, 2012

One of my favourite spots

via GB@H

One of my most favourite spots to visit is thankfully only and hour and a half away from where we live. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a pretty town that brims at the seams with tourists who want to drink in all of it's prettiness. And she is a beauty.

Of course the other thing to drink in are the outstanding wines that the Niagara Region offers. The Niagara Region is characterized by it's unique micro-climate, topography and rich soils which provides a unique growing opportunity for tender fruit. The wines of this region are infused with complex flavours and characters, and draw wine lovers in to experience the distinctive world class wines. It's not just because I live here that I will say these wines remain among some of my favourites. If you haven't experienced Ontario wines yet, put it on your list of wines to try.

Shaw Cafe & Wine Bar                                      via GB@H

Richard and I drove down to NOTL last weekend for an afternoon of exploring....... and well truthfully, the summer wouldn't complete if I didn't wander there at least a few times.
While we didn't visit any of the wineries on this trip, we did enjoy some of the local VQA choices at lunch. The culinary choices span well beyond the quick lunches at local main street restaurants, and we have enjoyed the talents of the chefs at Oban Inn {here}, Zee's {here}, Truis Winery at Hillebrand {fabulous summer jazz program} - {HERE}, Peller Estate Winery which features the culinary talents of Jason Parsons {here}, Prince of Wales {a wonderful spot for afternoon tea and brunch} - {here}, ........... to name a few.
There is a lot of indulging going on when we visit - great food, outstanding wines.

via GB@H

via GB@H

The unique climate of the Niagara Region also offers the opportunity for nurseries to grow some of the most beautiful flowers and trees. The town of Niagara-on-the-lake is itself a showstopping bouquet, and as many times as I have visited over the years it still manages to thrill me every time. I am certain that the plants and flowers are on steroids, they are flowing over the planters and sidewalks and there isn't a spot that isn't in bloom. Even during this recording breaking summer heat the gardens are lush.

via GB@H

via GB@H

via GB@H

I love to explore NOTL and manage to take pictures every time we visit. The quaint little town is overflowing with restored historical properties that boast of architectural detailing. One of the most visited properties is the Trish Romance Gallery, a Victorian house that really does make you feel like you've stepped back in time.

Trish Romance Gallery House                                       via GB@H

via GB@H

Trish Romance paintings and details about her work can be seen here.

Visitors are often found sitting here enjoying the view.   via GB@H

Look at the detail on the veranda, especially the domed roof. via GB@H

via GB@H

Niagara-on-the-Lake is famous for the variety of Bed and Breakfast accommodations. I've stayed at a few of them in the past and really enjoyed the quaint feel that staying at a B & B offers. There are so many to choose from but one my favourites is Cecile's House {they bring a little touch of France to the Inn and have a great shop as well} - HERE.

The main street is lined with shops that are carefully styled to the historical town's requirements. I love the old time bakery style of Niagara Home Bakery - it reminds me of the bakery my Aunt used to own. And Yum!

Niagara Home Bakery                                       via GB@H

I was so busy taking pictures at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory window that I didn't stop to buy anything....... maybe a good thing that I didn't. But I can say from prior purchases, everything is delicious there. The phrase 'like a kid in a candy store' is so accurate...... you will want to try everything.
They have of course a huge variety of chocolates, gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, fudge, no sugar added chocolate and even dog bones that are dipped in chocolate 'flavour' coating {safe for fido}.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory               via GB@H

via GB@H

No calories here !!                                                         via GB@H

Apples covered in more sweetness.             via GB@H

One our very first date Richard and I discovered during our long conversation that we both love Niagara-on-the-Lake - the architecture, the beautiful tree's and the quaint style that the town has to offer. So it is always extra special sharing time there together now.

The highlight of the day was taking time together - just the two of us. The fun of a summer day..... in the sunshine...... in a romantic town.......... with my guy.

Read more about Niagara-on-the-Lake during our winter trip HERE................ and HERE.

More great Niagara Region gardens can be seen via fellow blogger Nella at Acorn Lane Vintage Living. Warning: her garden will hook you in, it's stunning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Skin and Makeup Advise from a PRO

The last post with Skin and Makeup Advise from a Pro {here} outlined using lip liners and creating a natural look with cosmetics.

Wilhemina : US Vogue

Today's advise is all about getting started and choosing the right foundation.


"What preparation do you recommend before applying makeup"?


'Starting with a clean palette is important and I will address the cleansing process, types of cleansers and various products on the market in an upcoming post. 
To ready your face for makeup it is important to start with moisturizer. All skin care and makeup products that are developed to work with various skin types, it's important to choose a moisturizer that compliments your needs.'

'Take the time to let your moisturizer set into your skin before applying makeup on top....... UNLESS - you have very dry skin. If your skin is dry it is important to use a moisturizer specific for dry skin. If you are using a foundation, use one that is moisture enhanced and apply it immediately following the moisturizer {otherwise you will get a caked on look}.'  
'If your skin is oily - again, use a moisturizer specific for oily skin and use a primer before you apply makeup. The primer will help 'set' the makeup application.'
'Some of my favourite primers are: Hourglass Veil Mineral {the splurge} or L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base {the deal}.'



"I'm confused, TONER or NOT"


'This is a personal preference ! But what I will say about toner is that they have evolved a great deal over the years. Long gone are the days of using a toner that is stripping and drying. Today's toners work on the concept of putting moisture back into the skin.'

'If a new toner is on your skincare shopping list, look for one that does not contain alcohol. Instead, choose one that does contain ingredients to revive the skin such as thermal or rose water. My personal favourite is Avene's Gentle Toner. I love the Avene skincare line which is from France in the Languedoc Roussillon region. And let's face it, who doesn't want to have beautiful skin like French women do.'


"Do I need to change the SHADE of foundation I use from season to season."


'YES !  You should invest in a winter shade of foundation and a summer shade of foundation. It's not just about the colour, it's also about the temperature.'

'Always, always choose a foundation with SPF or apply sunscreen prior to moisturizer. Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunblock goes on smoothly, is non-greasy and offers several levels of protection for various times of the year {spf up to 110}.'
'Your winter {or cooler weather} foundation will be need in a shade to compliment your skin tone during the months when you do not have as much natural colour. The proper way to test colour is on your face near your jaw line - not on the back of your hand. Winter foundation could include something with more moisturizer in it to combat the effects of the harsh cold.'
'Summer foundation should be lighter, a tinted moisturizer works well during this humid time of year. Again, test the shade at your jaw line to ensure that it is not too light against your extra summer colour'.

'In an early post I advised readers of something that is worth repeating again:
Keep it Simple. If you think "maybe I should add more to this" - DON'T. Instead put the makeup brush down.'

Next Up .............. using the right makeup tools and how to care for them. 

beauty quote via

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A gift from France

Sharon at My French Country Home generously shares details about her brocante loot and hosts brocante tours {visit her blog here}. Sharon featured a wonderful give away about a month ago with three lovely items she discovered while hunting items for her brocante shop HERE.

I was fortunate to win one of the beautiful items Sharon featured in her 'loot shoot giveaway'. Two days ago the pretty silver engraved hotel creamer arrived with a personal note from Sharon.

Richard bought a bouquet of fresh lavender for me and the two just seem a perfect combination.

Eventually the creamer will find it's way to my kitchen hutch and compliment the silver coffee pot and Brassaii leather wrapped bistro cups. But for now, I decided that the creamer filled with fresh lavender offers a little French inspiration for my bedside table.

Thank you Sharon, I really love it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Home Swee Home

This great piece of artwork was waiting for me when I went into the kitchen for my morning coffee. It generally takes me a cup {or two} of coffee to feel alive and manage a smile........ but this Picasso a'la Richard did the trick.

The kitchen cabinet above our coffee machine is painted in chalk board paint and it provides Richard and I the opportunity to leave special notes for each other. It is frequently chalked with a quote or funny drawing.
My beautiful Granddaughter calls me 'Swee' ...... that's sweetie to everyone else {see my Mother's Day post for the full story}. Richard drew this picture of Kya and  Swee, knowing we were about to have another special girls day together. When our Granddaughter is around, it makes things extra sweet.

Richard........ this may be one of your best drawings yet.

Life doesn't get much better or 'Swee' than this.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Elie Sabb

Like most women, I didn't need another reason to fall in love with Elie Sabb, but I have. Elie has been creating fashion pieces in his mind since he was a child, but it was thirty years ago, at the romantic age of 18, that Elie launched his design label.

He brings out the princess in every woman with his romantic creations, while we dream of wonderful places to wear the elegant frocks and accessories.
Here is a peek at Elie's creations for Autumn, they are truly timeless.

LoVe, LoVe, LoVe you Elie Sabb.

                                  ONE                        {my fave}



                                   FOUR                 {and this one}



                                            SEVEN                {and this one too!}



It's important to look great leaving the room!

...... and a stylish bag for your lipstick.

What is your favourite dress from the collection ?

Have a Glamourous Weekend everyone.