Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A mouse in the kitchen

Time for something silly!

My husband is being so sweet and generous with the Mini that I thought I would feature him on my blog today.

It's not often that he gets the opportunity to be creative. But when he puts his mind to it, he's a star. Look at this: a work of art, wouldn't you agree?

A round of applause for him, please!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's going to be a Mini Cooper S!

I can hardly contain my excitement! We ordered my Mini a few weeks ago and I just find out that it will be arriving in about two weeks! I wasn't expecting it until the end of July / beginning of August so I am happy that the torturous wait will soon be over.

Here is what I am getting.

The Mini Cooper S - 184 hp is a lot for a small car!

As an automatic because it is simply easier in the city. (Forgive me, boys! But I will still be able to shift gears with paddles on the steering wheel - like F1 drivers, sort of! And for the record, I can drive a manual.)

With black leather sport seats! (instead of the white leather/black cloth combination offered with this model. In my first assessment it was either the S or leather seats, hence the big deal.)

It will have a fantastic Harman Kardon hi-fi system.

The colour is an elegant white silver metallic, which is only available for the Camden (a limited edition 50th birthday model). I love the pinstripes on the mirror caps.

For those interested, I have included a list of features for the Camden. Other extras we have ordered include sun protection glass, park distance control, heated seats, adapters for the iPhone / iPod and I'm not sure what else... 

This is so amazing for me because I still remember my first car. I was a university student and happy to have a car at all but it only had a cassette player with crap speakers, ugly cloth seats, no power steering and how could I forget what a struggle it was to drive uphill! 

What was your first car like?
1,2(my own),3,4,5,6,7,8

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blowing bubbles

When was the last time you blew bubbles like these?! We got two new bubble wands this weekend. The blue one made funny-shaped bubbles.

The yellow wand made huge bubbles with cleaner shapes. Our son made these amazing bubbles!

Did you know (I didn't) that there are bubble specialists at Bubble Inc who can do even more amazing things... like freeze bubbles!

And blow bubbles within bubbles!

And here's a cute baby tiger fascinated with the bubbles! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A free Essie on 8 July

If you are in the UK on 8 July, you might want to pick up a copy (or several) of Tatler: there will be a free Essie nail polish with every Tatler magazine!

There will be six colours to choose from:
Yes we can pink, Mint candy apple, Lollipop, Flower girl, Rock the croc, Rock candy

I saw this in the current issue of Tatler, which also came with another freebie: sunglasses!

Which colour nail polish will you get?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shocking! Puberty and lavender?

Do you remember when you got your first bra? Certainly not when you were five, right?

Well, read this:
"Hayley... started developing breasts when she was five. A year later... she had her first period. She was dealing with monthly mood swings, stomach cramp, migraines and spots at the same time as learning to read and write. Every month she missed three or four days of school..." 

And what is more, "evidence suggests that Hayley's experience could soon be commonplace."

Before you dismiss all this as nonsense, know that these are quotes from an article I read in Intelligent Life, a magazine from The Economist - which, in case you don't know it, is a very reputable source of information and analyses on world affairs.

Hayley still seems to be an extreme case but they have been conducting studies and "the results... showed that over 15 years the age of breast development in Denmark had dropped a year, from 10.8 years in 1991 to 9.8 years in 2006." Also in China, a study reported the lowest-ever average age for breast development (9.2 years). And boys' voices are breaking earlier - studies in Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy have all come to similar results. 

What are the implications?
- "Children who go into early puberty are prematurely sexualised and too immature to deal with the implications. They are more vulnerable to sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual behaviour, sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy."
- "Adolescents who go through puberty earlier are involved in more risk-taking behaviour, such as taking drugs, binge drinking and breaking the law."
- For women, there could be health problems: an increased "risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and of developing cardiovascular problems."

Why is this happening? Nobody knows for sure. They've looked into obesity, chemicals, absentee fathers ("a girl who lives apart from her father tends to get her period earlier") and now also hormones: "Children are extremely sensitive to hormones before puberty because they are producing so little that small amounts can make a difference." 

What has lavender got to do this any of this? Well, here is another shocking revelation:
"In 2007 a study in the New England Journal of Medicine described how three young boys began growing breasts after using products containing lavender and tea-tree oils. In one case a mother used a healing balm containing lavender oil on her four-year-old son; in another a ten-year-old boy used hair gel containing lavender and tea-tree oil; in the final example a seven-year-old was using lavender soap. Lavender and tea-tree were found to cause hormonal disruptions by mimicking oestrogen."

This article freaked me out. What are your thoughts on this?
1, 2 (Intelligent Life print), 3 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Homes with a view

When we were in Oslo about three weeks ago, we took a ferry to the Viking museum. On the way, I spotted a couple of lovely houses - all with a spectacular view.

The first one is my favourite (but no playing football in that garden..!).

I wouldn't mind this one, either.

I wonder if this house has a lift? Either way, the tower is quite cool. (And I love the colour of the sky!)

Would you like to live in one of these houses? Or have a beautiful apartment in the city?

When we were looking for a place to buy, we decided on the latter. We didn't want to climb stairs!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wear Chanel... on your lips

I heart Chanel's Rouge Allure Laque.

This is basically a liquid lipstick with good staying power. It's a fantastic compromise between lip gloss and lipstick: it is ultra creamy and hydrating like a gloss but has the strong pigmentation of a lipstick.

The packaging is chic and unmistakably Chanel: in case somebody misses the logo on top, it's written in big letters at the bottom. The black lacquered glass packaging is sleek and compact. Yes, j'adore the packaging!

#77 Santal is a peachy pink coral (?) that is perfect for every day.
#79 Mandarin is a deep (orangey?) red - a wearable red.

What I also like about these is that they stain the lips. After taking the swatch photo below, I rubbed them off with my fingers and was left with a light stain - and that was just after 15 minutes!

Don't forget: you will need a chic mirror to apply your Chanel. I can recommend this: it's very slim and has two mirrors, one of which is magnifying (not to worry, you won't ever look bad in a Chanel mirror!).

What's your favourite (Chanel) lip product?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The little white dress

Fashion-wise, I've always been a 'black' person but lately I've been loving white - white jeans, white tops, white bags, white car (coming soon!)... So no surprise that I adore this white dress!

This is actually the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria (with her now husband Daniel - see wedding photos here). Doesn't she look ravishing? The dress shows off her figure but is elegant and so lady-like. I also like her decent jewellery (the bracelet is gorgeous) and the way her hair is done. I just wish I could see her shoes!

What do you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden's fairytale wedding

The Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden got married on Saturday! There were tiaras everywhere: it was a huge gathering of Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses!

Princess Victoria was looking absolutely radiant. This is the dress she wore to the pre-wedding dinner.

This is the wedding dress, with a long train (five metres long!). More details here.

She looked so happy - just like any girl on her wedding day! I wish her and her Prince much happiness! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

2010: This weekend's royal wedding

Who's going to watch the royal wedding on Saturday (19 June)? Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is getting married!

I love royal weddings. They're modern day fairytales. Think tradition, beautiful wedding gowns with the longest veils and trains ever, and lavish celebrations.

I can't wait to see her wedding dress! In the meantime, here are some photos of other royal weddings. Which dress do you like best?

Denmark: Mary and Crown Prince Frederik (2004)

Spain: Letizia and Crown Prince Felipe (2004)

Denmark: Marie and Prince Joachim (2008) 

And next: Kate and Prince William? I think they will get married. What do you say?

All images from the internet.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Avocado oil: The new olive oil?

So apparently Jamie Oliver is a fan of this stuff: extra virgin avocado oil. That's all you need to know - now go and buy!

No, just kidding. But I definitely want to try it. I love avocados and they're supposed to be very good for you so this makes sense. One 250ml bottle contains the oil of 20 avocados. 

They claim that it is the only extra virgin oil that can be used for high heat cooking. Their suggestions include:
- brush onto summer vegetables and bake at 200°C
- brush onto fish or prawns and grill / barbecue
- use in salad dressings.
To find out more about avocado oil, click here

I found this in the latest issue of Jamie magazine.

I just had to include this. The heart-shaped avocado is so sweet!

I'm guessing most people use olive oil for salads but what do you use for high heat cooking?