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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.