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24 December 2012

Secret Christmas Ingredient 2012

I just found this! Cointreau cuisine... I checked it was still fully boozey before purchasing! It's amazing, smells so festive and can be used to make anything seasonal from chocolate mousse, puddings and yes cocktails.

Spray it on your tongue when you get stressed!

16 December 2012

The Social Club

'Tis the season!! And what better excuse to whip up a cocktail for your party guests.

06 December 2012

Let's talk about banks, baby!

I promised to tell you why I ended up having a jaunt to London the other day. It was for a very important cause as my friend has written a book! So I thought it would be most sensible if I joined up with her to help celebrate.

02 December 2012

Tapas tasting

I was in London the other week and my fabulous mates brought me to a little tapas restaurant called Barrica on Goodge Street they thought I would enjoy. I was a bit puzzled at first why we traipsed up through Covent Garden, Soho and Charlotte Street from Embankment and when I enquired they said "because we think you'll love it."

*sigh* I love it when my mates know me better than I do. A glass of excellent Cava was a good start followed by Iberico Pork (Jambon cedo - like thick Parma ham), and Chorizo. The boys had the ham croquettes which looked scrummy but I stuck to deep-fried Pablo peppers which I adored. I ordered a second plate. I also had melt-in-the-mouth aubergine that was chargrilled, served with fresh goat's cheese and drizzled with a honey dressing. If ANYBODY out there can tell me the secret of keeping a slice of aubergine soft in the middle and chargrilled on the outside PLEASE let me know! I'm thinking I'm going to have to sacrifice a few aubergines on my quest to find out!

We finished with a selection of cheeses and a glass of sherry. I know a thing or two about sherry and can honestly say this has got to be one of the most extensive sherry menus in London.

I'll share the reason for me bumming around in London with my mates in my next post!

20 November 2012

Crazy Mama

After a bit of a hiatus languishing in a heady state of depression, I am now at least conscious enough to string a sentence together and motivated enough to sit up at an angle conducive to typing. Hello there! I apologise for my absence, I will make efforts to keep up with my blog for my lovely readers and my own sanity.

Enough of my cloud of depression, I will elaborate on that another day, for now I would like to talk about fertility.

29 August 2012

Deal with your Debts

After spending WAY too much on a heady but frivolous Summer, I have crashed back to earth with a bump and a bollocking from GF. I freaking HATE it when he gets on his high horse and even more so if he's right! It is not, thankfully, a common occurrence!

21 August 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Over the last year I've been spending significant amounts of time away from GF due to work commitments, family trips and a general need to get away from each other and i must agree with the old adage, absence does make the heart grow fonder. Not only do I miss my significant other when we're apart, I also have a greater appreciation for his contribution to the running of the house, in dealing with the children and in keeping me sane.

I think Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter have it right! (if you can afford to live in adjoining houses next door to each other) Sadly, I can't so I am making the most of my time away from my man. The way I see it, there are some real positives to long distance dating...

16 August 2012

He's Just Not That Into You

Wow, I am sick of women today! And I love women normally, I'm a girls girl. What drives me stark raving bonkers, incandescent with rage however, is when cool, clever women become naval gazing, whiney, needy messes over unworthy men. Don't get me wrong, I like men too (a lot!)...

10 August 2012

Vanity Project 1: I'm sexy and I know it!

I am hot! Well I think I am. Ok, I used to be and in some lights (ie. candle) I think I still am... Maybe, on a good day, when feeling good about myself and wearing spanx...

Sorry for the ramble rant. The crux of my issue is age, pure and simple. Vital, youthful beauty gets us through our troubling teens and turbulent twenties. We glide through the social sphere with ease, turning heads and attracting friends and conversation. And then one day (mid 30s), i realised that not only did no one glance up as i walked into the party but no one was interested in knowing my name either.

02 August 2012

Eye Make Up - Part 2

Sorry, it's taken a while I know. What can I say? It wasn't the inspiration for this post that was lacking, it was the photography. Notoriously difficult to find unless advertising a brothel!

26 July 2012

More Highstreet Picks

Yes, I am still shopping crazy on the highstreet. So manic is my lust that I haven't got time for a witty intro... the sales are calling!! I just have time to highlight a few of the new season goodies from Zara. Amazing colours, prints and handbags to die for!

23 July 2012

Topshop Treats

Dearest Sir Philip Green, PLEASE bring Topshop to France, I implore you! I’m a sucker for Topshop, so when I travel home to England's green and pleasant lands, I have to find the nearest grey city where I MUST immediately shop till I drop. I love UK fashion and miss loads of clothing stores and brands, but Topshop is just a fabulous store and online shopping doesn't give me the same high as trawling the rails.

17 July 2012

Gertie's Guide to Gold

Is it me or are women getting more and more tanned every year? This is a rhetorial question, it’s a fact, they are! The all year round tan is in fashion and the fake-baked fashionista sista’s are making everyone else look positively goth-like. We all know that a natural looking fake tan isn't necessarily an easy look to pull off and it can take an enormous amount of time and dedication. It is in fact an art form and quite frankly a pain in the proverbial, but if you can't beat em join em, and let's face it, a tan covers a multitude of sins.

29 June 2012

Polished Peplum

Peplum is one of the more difficult SS12 trends to put into practice. It's not flattering, it's very easy to look like a Miss Marple extra and it gets crushed on public transport. But don't despair... It can be done.

Here are 3 different peplummy looks for you to sink your teeth into. Get experimenting!

20 June 2012

Gertie's Wedding Guest Fashion Guide

I have a confession...I’m currently obsessed with fashion blogs. I know, I know, I can hear you all saying, ”Gertie, they’ve been around for ages”. But they haven’t for me because I’ve been in the midst of baby-breeding years where (1) looking in the mirror was forbidden, and (2) shopping for clothes was effectively ruled out as I couldn’t try anything on (see point 1).

14 June 2012

Gertie's School Gate Saga

girls Adventures of a Middle-Aged Matron's article on school gate fashion was not only very chic and stylish but it was also honest and funny and it inspired this post.

As a prelude I have to talk about French women. They may not be the World's best dressed anymore and they do have an unhealthy relationship with burgundy lip liner (without lipstick filler) and hooker boots, but they are undoubtedly THE world's best at immaculate presentation. Never a hair out of chignoned-to-death place, sky-high heals at all times of day and skin-tight clothing is all part of the non-negotiable uniform. Can you imagine? Bad hair and fat days have been banned here! This is a 'no fly zone' for Uggs and sweat pants.

I, on the other hand, often have bad hair and fat days are common place. On these days I dress in whatever's on my bedroom floor (I like to call this look shabby chic but bag lady/Helena Bonham Carter is more to the mark) and I rock the school gates like this... Not a matching accessory in sight! Although in my defence, ALWAYS designer shades... To hide my non-made up face!

I've never really cared about what others think of my appearance and I was more than a bit shocked by the constant looks of disgust and disdain from the army of well turned out French mums. It made me feel self conscious and inadequate for a short while, but then I realised - French women have it tough! It must be exhausting for them to constantly look pristine, work two jobs, keep a lovely home and bring up well balanced kids all while trying to keep their husbands from schtupping his secretary! Yes, I know I'm generalising, but stereotypes are there for a reason aren't they?!

All over the globe, school gates are dangerous, competitive and downright bitchy places to be, especially for those less pristine or self confident. Friends have related numerous horror stories of their experiences while waiting to pick up their children and you've got to wonder why the heck women can't just be nicer to each other. As that is never going to happen, here is Gertie's Survival Guide to School Gate Girls...

  1. Walk tall. Exude confidence with your body language. Head up, back straight, tummy in, boobs out... Don't show fear, it's like blood to piranhas!

  2. Build Support Networks. Quickly assess who the nice mums are and befriend them. Avoid all contact with super bitches!

  3. Be VERY Busy & Important. If alone with super bitches or worse, under assault excuse yourself to make a business call that just won't wait or receive an email that needs your urgent attention.

  4. Fun apps. Ignore the sniping altogether and play Angry Birds or download the FatFace app and turn your foe into a pie-eating contest winner.

  5. Know yourself. Recognize that you are the normal one here. Real women are allowed to dress casually and feel comfortable, to look like shit and to think that their tired feet deserve some time in sheepskin! We can also dress up, make ourselves up, look and feel sexy and spend time matching our accessories but for me anyway, not at 7am after spending the night calming screaming infants - that's just crazy behaviour!

Stay strong mums of the World! You can do it... Face the bitches down and never forget how cool and awesome you are... Even in your Uggs!

12 June 2012

The Best of Bling

So even if our love don't cost a thing, we always need a bit of bling! It's London Jewellery Week and here are my favourite pieces...

07 June 2012

Hangover Hell

I love the Grand Prix weekend but I don't deal well with the hangover I am inevitably left with. This year, I decided to trial hangover cures to assess which ones really work, and which are old wives' tales.

26 May 2012

Savvy Shopping on the Net

Living in the South of France has its perks with 300 days of sunshine and glamour constantly on parade in the form of sports cars, yachts and Jimmy Choos. And of course there are the shops, in one small strip alone there’s Cartier, Fred, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Celine, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Akris (favored by Princess Charlene of Monaco). And whilst I’d love to imagine me breezing in and out of these shops laden with glossy bags tied with ribbons, my budget is more comfortable with the likes of H&M rather than Hermés.

And this is the problem with Monaco, it has a lack of ’normal’ shops. There is a Zara, but because everyone ends up shopping there you run the very real risk of dressing in identical outfits to all of your friends. What’s a working class girl in Monaco to do? Catch a ride on the Internet Highway and surf your way to fashion nirvana.

Gertie’s Savvy Internet Shopping Guide:

1. Bottoms up. Let’s start with the basics, the savvy shopper knows that good underwear makes for a great silhouette. is amazing not only in the range of choice, but their delivery service is extremely efficient. I clued onto Figleaves when I was pregnant and the lack of non-sexy maternity-wear available in France was depressing to say the least. Let’s just say the selection at figleaves managed to excite my partner, even with my big belly!

2. Asos. I’ve been shopping on Asos for years and years and friends regularly rave about it, as well they should. It is fashion forward, suitable for all budgets with a quick, easy and efficient delivery service. The range of brands they include continues to grow and their fashion blogs and look lists are also fab if you are in need of inspiration.

3. Shoes. Office are always at the top of my list for anything from converse for me and the kids to winter boots, summer wedges and the latest fashion trends. I rejoiced when they started international deliveries and i am currently pining for several items from their ”party pastels” pages.

4. A little luxury. Brora does the softest cashmere in the most loveliest range of colours. The website is easy to navigate, you can easily zoom in to see the exact shade of colours (the wool can sometimes have a blend of colours). The service is quick and your package comes beautifully wrapped. A girl’s got to have a little luxury in her life, and Brora has awesome sales!

5. Everything else. Amazon is always an open tab on my Mac. For everything a girl needs except the kitchen sink. I just had to search the site for ’kitchen sink’ to check I wasn't selling them short and I actually was, they also sell kitchen sinks!

22 May 2012

Gertie's Guide to Glamping

CampsiteIs Laurie Lee's early written work "Cider with Rosie" your husband's favourite read?

No matter, I will describe to you this... Lush green fields rolling away from you as far as the eye can see, badly potholed dirt roads, beautiful ramshackle buildings, churches quaint enough to be described by Austen, plotted walking trails isolated and wild enough for Heathcliffe's Cathy, coal-fueled barbecues roasting vibrant colored veggies, farmyard smells, wellies, fresh air, log fires and pints of amber-coloured cider. I live in France but I recharge my batteries in England's green and pleasant lands.

12 May 2012

Healthy Helpers: Energy-Boost Snacks

Food for Life, Love, and Looks (Woman Alive, 1974)Apologies for my absence as of late. St Tropez, Somerset, London and life have been a bit hectic lately! So much traveling has put me off my balance slightly and I'm noticing a huge dive in my blood sugar levels in the late afternoon. So I glibly grab for a glass of rosé and a handful (or three) of pretzels. Fine for the short-term but this can't go on.

27 April 2012

Stay Sane During School Holidays... Hopefully!

My youngest child has recently changed from a happy smiley baby into a screaming, shouting ball of rage and frustration. Horrible 3's... Even worse, in my opinion, than Terrible 2's! This metamorphosis has come along just in time for the school holidays (oh joy!) and I am already stockpiling my essential self-medicating tool, wine. It is the only way I will survive the next two weeks. This however, is the second time I have had to deal with a stroppy toddler, so I am armed with a bit more experience, a minute amount more patience and a list of fun stuff to do to make the holidays more manageable, fun for the kids and most importantly, pass by more quickly!

19 April 2012

Work Stress Sucks

StressedEvery mother is a working mother, whether they look after their kids 100% of the time, work from an office, or work from home. Everybody has their own situations and reality going on and each is different. I read a post by Scary Mommy the other day that resonated:

”...pitting stay-at-home-mothers against working moms gains us nothing...So here’s an idea: let’s support one another’s decisions. As mothers everywhere know, there are few decisions as hard as the one we make about whether or not to go back to work. A mother is a mother, regardless of her employment status, and the last thing you need is another mom judging your decisions. Do what works best for you.” (12/04/12)

So this is not meant to be a debate about whether it is best to work or not, or who’s job is hardest.

I started working part-time when my first-born was five months old. I felt then that it was the right thing to do, to help ensure that there would eventually be a stream of income coming from my direction. But the reality was it was an attempt to shore up a business that my ex had long since given up caring about. Two years and a hell of a lot of stress later I eventually realized it was a lost cause.

I have finally gotten to a point where the stranglehold of negativity, self-doubt and depression has started to loosen its grip. I am able to start thinking more clearly, about ways I can now positively contribute to the income of our family and, specifically, by what suits me AND our family. A dear friend of mine, who has worked incredibly hard to build a fantastically successful business offered me an opportunity to work freelance from home.

Great stuff! Off I go into the wide world armed with loads of life lessons from my recent experiences, what could go wrong? Why then was I finding myself jittery, checking my phone every two minutes to see if I missed a message, and yelling at my daughter if she happened to speak to me while I was writing an email? This was not the new Zen-master me that I had envisioned.

After several talks with close girlfriends and a few hours of self analysis I figured out a couple of things. First, it was new. It would take me a little while to get used to things and get in the groove. Second, I was being insecure. After not having worked in this particular environment for over 7 years I was a little nervous. In truth, I irrationally felt I was some sort of fraud that didn’t deserve to be there. Which is crap! I have loads of experience and I can do that job really well. Sometimes in a low moment I have to remind myself of that though. Thirdly, I mustn’t make any excuses for my lifestyle. I CHOSE to move away from the rat-race and live in a sunny place, but by doing so I chose to put my family first over earning loads of money. And I shouldn’t need to feel apologetic for that. So how to keep these conflicting emotions under control? Dealing with work stress is difficult under any circumstance. This is what I did.

Gertie’s Guide to Work Related Stress Relief:

1. Breath. When my heart starts jumping and I feel more flappy than a butterfly, I have to tell myself to Stop and take a Deep Breath. And I literally do just that. Count to ten, think of your special place, whatever it is you do, just as long as you stop with the fluttery business.

2. Believe in yourself. When I get stressed, I get irrational. I immediately jump to a message and think, ’How am I going to manage that?’ or ’I don’t think I can do that’. Then after I breath and concentrate quietly on the task I realize that it really wasn’t that hard after all. We all need to practice getting over insecurity, it’s wasted energy! Have more faith in yourself.

3. Sing. Yep, you read right. The other day I was in a flap and I knew I had to take control. I found out the best therapy by accident when I slammed on the stereo at full blast and was belting out Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know. After a full session of singing and dancing I felt a lot better. Lifted and invigorated. Listen to The wise words of Travis, and SING!

14 April 2012

Eye Make Up Tutorial - Part 1

2/52 - Zip Your Lips Like A PadlockSorry this guide is so delayed. I am passionate about eye make up and I wanted to get it right. Good eye make up will change your life! And it's really not difficult if you know what you're doing so let's get started. I'm going to split this up into two sections, with two looks for daytime in this one and two sexy evening looks in the next.

A quick note on colors and skin tone before we start:

Porcelain skin
tone with blue, green or hazel eyes needs neutral pastel eye shades. Grey is an amazing color for day, also lavender and loads of different greens will compliment your coloring, minimise redness and enhance your natural pale and interesting assets. Use darker shades after dark. One of the most striking looks is that of the English rose. The beautiful vulnerability of near translucent skin and light eyes means that you can rock red lips with liquid lined eyes while still looking wide eyed and classic. Just follow a couple of simple rules and you're all set!

If you have fair skin but darker than porcelain and maybe with a darker hair colour, you can wear bolder tones of shadow and liner on your eyes. Try out different shades of blue, brown, beige, olive and gold. For daytime looks especially you are the ethereal natural angel in olive green over natural stone colors.

Light olive skin with dark eyes and hair need rich, warm but neutral colors. Tones of brown, beige and grey are fantastic for day and night but if you want more va-va-voom for evening you can also take jewel colors (see upcoming Eye Make Up Tutorial - Part 2 for night looks with impact).

Dark olive is sallow, yellowy skin with dark hair and eyes and again you need to experiment with nude beiges, browns, olive green and slate greys. These smooth, polished, flattering tones are far from boring. For night time looks, you Mediterranean beauties can pull off an array of beautiful jewel colours.

Black skin means a free for all as you can take the biggest range of eye make up colors. Jewel tones, deep turquoise, gold, sapphire and plum. Jealous? I am!

I don't know whether the school gates are like shark feeding frenzies world-wide or just in the south of France but I have never in my life appreciated my makeup skills more than now. My armour, my face for the world. Good make up can make you feel better. More together, more professional, more feminine, more sexy, more outspoken... And with my most natural war paint on, I can conquer the world.

Before we start, please tend to your eye brows. They are so important! You don't have to be the world's best tweezer technician, just keep them tidy and tended and after applying your eye make up, go over them with an eyebrow pencil, brush and powder.

1. Natural Day EyesAuge
Naturally, our lids are probably pinker than our faces. Use a liquid eye make up base to make sure that any redness is covered and your make up stays put throughout your working day. I recommend the Benefit Stay don't Stray (also found at one - it works for me, is easy to apply and lasts for ever!

Apply base with your fingers (not too thickly as it will crease into wrinkles), then apply a base eye shadow colour to your eye lid and socket. For daytime, choose a neutral colour that suits your skin tone. The next colour has to compliment your base but be darker and accentuary. For me, either a beige and a brown work (dark olive, brown eyes) or a cream and a grey. If you're worried about choosing the right colours, the packs of ready matched eye shadows are fab. Bourjois is a good brand for this.

Use a wide (full) eye make up brush to apply your base colour and afterward sweep the accentuary colour starting from the outside of your eye and sweeping the sockets. Don't come all the way in, leave the last quarter and make the colour heavier at the outside of the eye. LASH mascara on. Mascara is the most important part of your arsenal and you don't need lash curlers if you have a good one. I have used the same mascara for over 10 years now and it's never been beaten with how good it is compared to other, more expensive models. This is it people... It's the God of all mascaras... Bourgeois Volume Glamour Ultra Curl. Just use it!

If you feel like you need a bit more oomph, line your top and bottom lids with a grey or brown liner and smudge with a brush.

2. Liquid Eye Liner (day or night)perfect eyeliner
I'm not going into the different names for the shapes of liner. Cat, winged blah blah blah! The truth? The more winged you go, the bigger your eye make up gets right?! But it's ok because we live in the new age of the lined eye. A lot of women are scared of liquid eye liner. I beg you, please don't be! All you need is the correctly shaped applicator and some practice. Your hands could be shaking like a lush on detox and you could still get to grips with it. It's easy! You just need to accept that you'll go wrong! And it'll be ok!

Apply the lightest base you can (for your skin tone) and sweep a light contrasting color onto your sockets from outside your eye to 3/4 in. Now practice, but for heaven's sake, please invest in the right liner. The best bit is that it is the cheapest part of your kit, I kid you not. Rimmel do, without doubt, the best liquid liner "Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner" as it has a solid applicator (like a pen) and it lasts all night.

The experts say always start from the inside corner of the lid with liquid liner and I agree, however there's no right or wrong way, so see what works best for you. I start with the inside corner, sweep half way and then I draw a line from outside (the winged part) and bring it back to meet the first line in the middle. Try different shapes and see what you think. If you're wary of going OTT then start with a thin line with a short wing but just so you know, the wing has to be 5mm plus I think to elongate efficiently and to give you the 50s sex kitten look you're after (otherwise why are you reading this?!).

HINT: I started using liquid eye liner in front of a bathroom mirror that I put on my mum's dining table so I could rest my elbow on the table and steady my lining arm with the other one. Now I apply it without a mirror or often, at red traffic lights in the rear view mirror on the school run, proving that all you need is practice.

Don't forget the mascara afterwards and if you'd like a more impact, full look with liquid eye liner, line your lower lid (inside and out) with a kohl pencil in either grey, green, brown or black.

Please be off with you to the bathroom mirror to practice expressing yourself with your eye make up. Liberate yourself! And I'll post two eye make up looks for night-time impact soon!

07 April 2012

Seasonal Spring Produce

La Bonne EtapHappy Easter! I love this time of year (sorry if I am making you puke with my positivity!) because I can literally feel the blanket of Winter depression lifting. The sun warms and soothes pale and pasty skin, the winter knits can be stored away and the food markets come alive with the vibrantly coloured fruit and vegetables now in season. It inspired me to cook up a lunch for a girlfriend and I decided it was too good not to share... So here it is!

04 April 2012

Friend Culling

FriendsToday was going to be a good day. After last night's fabulous girls night and a much needed laugh and one too many glasses of white wine, I woke up to Gentleman Friend telling me that he would do the school run and that I could "take it easy" today - it just doesn't get any better than that! I ran to get some essential supplies from around the house (iPad, cup of tea, toasted hot cross bun and all the TV remote controls) before crawling back into bed to watch trash television and catch up on my social networking when... To my horror... I received an abusive Facebook message from a long since culled ex-friend. Seriously?! I cut her off and haven't seen or spoken to her for over three years and she still hasn't got the message? I don't know why I'm surprised, she isn't very stable. I met her when I was new and friendless in France and desperation attracts... Well, you get the point. No more mud slinging!

I have only culled a few friends through the course of my life but I think it can be a healthy thing to do. Life is hard enough without surrounding yourself with negative people who bring you down and revel in your misfortune.

So I'm taking a stand! I will not let this person ruin my day but instead I'm going to write a Guide for others, including all the things that I should have done but didn't. Lesson learned!

  1. Don't be an ostrich (like me) because sticking your head in the sand and hoping that the problem will go away if avoided for long enough only leads to abusive messages further down the line! Be honest with the offending individual. Tell them how they make you feel. Try to break up in person.

  2. BLOCK them from all your social networking sites. (I wish I had!)

  3. Rant about them with a "good" friend as a cathartic exercise... Get that negativity out! Don't let it fester!

  4. Appreciate your real friends and strive to be good to them.

  5. Move on and fill your life with positive energy, love and amazing people. There are so many truly fabulous people in the world to meet, you don't have a moment to waste!

Photo credit: h.koppdelaney

29 March 2012

Good Mood Food

strawberry kiss!I am a firm believer in the theory that we are what we eat and that food can nourish not just our bodies but our emotional well being as well. Different foods have different effects on us and they have the ability to change our internal chemical balance, improve sleep, concentration and libido. Pretty cool really, if you know which foods do what and why.

21 March 2012

Spring has Sprung: Time for Action

Sister.Spring has sprung, at least on the Cote d'Azur but that is, admittedly, why I live here.

17 March 2012

Rave Brunching

Mad Hatters Tea Party 9 - 12The new craze to hit New York, Rave Brunching, is my idea of heaven! Swanky venues including the exclusive Plaza Hotel host raves that begin at noon, have you dancing by tea time and tucked up in bed by 10pm... How very civilised! If you would love to rave away the sunlit hours but you don't have the funds to fly to NY to sip Krug and nibble on delightfully delicate caviar canapés, never fear.

15 March 2012

5 Fitness Technology Tips

womanI don’t know about you, but as the temperatures outside start to rise, I start thinking of shedding those bulky sweaters and even start visioning myself in *Gulp* a bikini. And trust me, at the moment these visions are more like nightmares about the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man! But all is not lost.

07 March 2012

To crush or not to crush?

Flirt PartnerTo crush or not to crush? THAT is the question...

Well no, it's not actually a question is it? It's an inevitable reality. It doesn't matter how happy we are, how strong our relationship or how long it has endured, we will naturally develop crushes on people other than our spouses along the way. And is it such a bad thing?

28 February 2012

Gertie’s Gentle Guide to Controlling Stress

Bridge reflection Ah, the wonders of the modern age! Think of all the marvelous inventions over the past 100 years that have made our everyday lives so much easier. There’s the car, the washing machine, the Hoover, the dishwasher, the telephone and the iPad. I mean, imagine if we actually had to walk, scrub clothes in a tub, sweep, hand-write letters AND there was no method in which to immediately communicate to all of our friends which of the mundane tasks we had recently completed and whether our friends in turn ’Liked’ it or not.

23 February 2012

Don't Make-do: 5 Marvelous Makeup Tips

Make-up A lot of women I meet don't use makeup. Not because they wouldn't love to glam up, but because they don't know which products to use where and how, and which colours suit their skin tones. There is also the real worry that you can over apply, creating looks akin to clowns and drag acts.

16 February 2012

5 Fab Tips for Frugal Food Shopping

90 Second Fitness the vook It might sound odd coming from somebody living in an enchanted place like Monaco, but I do make it a habit to buy my groceries on a strict budget. Life here is not all about Ferrari’s, Fred and Fendi; there’s working-class girls in Monaco too (and no, I am not talking about ladies of the night).

10 February 2012

Be mine....

Heart Shaped LollyOne Valentine’s Day, my first husband gave me the gift of a gym ball. That occurrence was quickly followed by my first divorce.

08 February 2012

Let's Talk About Sex (Selection)

RushDo you know to have sex when you want to conceive a girl and when for a boy? When you ovulate and for how long? Which rules are scientific fact and which fiction? No? I didn't either until I met up with a good friend of mine last week.

She needed a good rant over a bottle of Pinot Grigio or two and I was happy to oblige.

03 February 2012

The Flu

so sick Recently I got the flu for the first time. Naturally I woke in a panic, called my gentleman friend (from bed, he was downstairs in the kitchen) and demanded his presence in my bed chamber. “I have throat cancer”, I announced, trying to elicit as much sympathy as I could muster. To my surprise he wasn't convinced by this diagnosis and in a typically logical and irritatingly male fashion

29 January 2012

Easy Bread Recipes (for the Newbie)

Ciabatta / Xapata / ChapataI don’t want you to have an image of me as the sort of woman who dons a tidy white apron everyday breezily removing different shaped, freshly-baked loaves of home-baked bread from the oven whilst humming serenely. The vision is more of me in jeans and an everyday sweater rolled up to the elbows, trying desperately not to get myself covered in flour to save on the washing; and often swearing

20 January 2012

Easy-Peasey Weight Loss Guide (for the Busy Woman)

JoggingAre you a woman of means, without responsibilities and with the time and natural self motivation to hit the gym for two hours a day before bathing in asses milk and eating only mango and lobster? No? Good! Please read on...

10 January 2012

Beating those January Blues

Oh January... THE most depressing month of the year. The month you realise just how much debt you racked up at Christmas, how many mince pies passed your lips and stuck to your thighs and exactly how difficult it is to pass an evening without a glass of red wine to calm your paranoid booze blues.