No Weeds in this Garden!

Oct 30, 2011

We are absolutely thrilled to have found the wonderfully, talented designer Zelda Wong to join our site and feel very honoured she wants to showcase her pieces in our boutique.

The collection we are showcasing is called Winter Garden, and I think the sheer beauty and precision of the pieces speak for themselves.

This gorgeous Garland ring only went on-line
last night. I happened to tweet about it, and this
morning my Inbox was full of enquiries and

This Garland pendant is one of 2 gorgeous variations.

Zelda is originally from Macau but has lived in the UK for some time. Her inspiration comes from her love of the English countryside and typical English country gardens.
Her designs of these botanical forms encapsulates the beauty of the flower and plant.

Aren't these Lily drop earrings divine?

Every piece of jewellery is individually hand-made in her workshop in the UK (and all product materials are only sourced within the UK).

She is also the winner of the Loumin Design Innovation Award (2009).

These stunning drop earrings are based on the Winter
Eucalyptus plant.How stunningly original are these?
The matching pendant is just below.

This is the gorgeous Eucalyptus pendant that can be
matched with the earrings above. Every leaf is individually
handmade and pierced onto the stem; exquisite!!

Her designs really are stunning, exquisite, delicately feminine and really unique.

The rest of the Winter Garden Collection is showcased in our boutique.

As a special introductory offer to my blog followers only, I am offering a 15% discount on any piece from the Winter Garden Collection along with FREE International shipping (what has possessed me!?) Please e.mail me to utilise the discount.

This offer will end on Sunday 6 November 2011

To Kindle or not to Kindle?

Oct 23, 2011

OK, here's the deal. Like many of you that follow this blog I am an avid reader. My postman delivers Amazon packages so often, he is now part of the family!

I love books; I love waiting for them to arrive (it's always a surprise even though I know they are on their way). I love spending a Saturday afternoon in my favorite bookshop in London (Daunt-the oldest bookshop in the UK). I love the feel of a new book; the smell of the crisp, new pages. (I know I should get out more). And there is always a book in my bag, wrapped in a gorgeous organza black bag the same way IT girls go everywhere with their chihuahua's (I told you I need to get out more!)

She looked gorgeous even reading!

I can find a cosy nook where ever I am to indulge in my passion.

(via Pinterest: Pinmarklet)
What I would give to cosy up here on a winter's night

I have been known to make Hubs turn the car back on the way to the beach, and drive 50km in the opposite direction because I had forgotten my books.

(via Pinterest-NoraM)

(via Pinterest-KNeale)
Wow! this would be my ideal spot

However as I start packing up my life in Spain, I've started to box up my books to be shipped back. I have boxed 10 HUGE boxes, and they are only 75% of my books. I see Hubs going a ghastly shade of green everytime he walks past them.

It suddenly occured to me just how much space my books take up.

However I've still resisted buying a Kindle/e-reader ever since they came out, for the above reasons. Tell me :

*Do you have an e/reader?
*Is it the best thing since sliced bread?
*Am I missing out on a wonderful, 21st century invention?
*Is the reading experience just as enjoyable when done electronically?
*But how will we create gorgeous reading havens in the future (as in the images shown), if the way to go is electronic?

I would love to hear your views for and against the wonderful e-readers/Kindle.

Do I ask Santa for one or not?

(via Pinterest-Pinmarklet)
I just couldn't resist this. Start 'em young I say!!

p.s this post reminds me of a conversation Hubs and I had a few months ago (which I shared with my Twitter friends), talking at cross-purposes as we usually do. I was talking about reading with a Kindle, and Hubs thought I was talking about reading with a candle! I wish I could have recreated that conversation here. It truly was hysterical!

It's a Wrap!

Oct 18, 2011

I read last week that Hermés has launched it's first store in India. Wow!

They have launched a limited-edition line of saris; the 27 designs, which will sell for between $6,100 to $8,200 and will be based on the luxury label's famed scarves.

The garments would be sold with a metre of extra twill silk so that, in accordance with tradition, a top can be tailored in the same fabric.

Apparently is is the first time printing has been done over fabric measuring 5.5 metres (18 feet) long by Hermés ateliers.

Hermés is taking the Indian market very seriously, having recently opened their flagship store in Mumbai.Here are some of our pieces that I think would look great with Eastern-inspired dress.

Gorgeous double hoops with 12 sparkling gemstones in Amethyst
and black tourmalated quartz. 5cm wide.

Gorgeous large silver hoops with
Garnet clusters

Stunning hammered silver earrings in an organic pomegranate shape.
4.5 cm diameter. Available also in brass

Gorgeous hammered brass double lotus earrings.
Available in Silver also.

Waterfall of Silver finished with a gorgeous garnet stone

What do you think about Hermés opening in India.
*Have they got it right to target this emerging market?
* Would you spend $6k-8k for a garment from Hermés?
*Can any garment warrant that price tag?
*Should they be opening in a country that still has such extreme poverty, or are the two not connected?

Burberry has not done so well in India, so I am not totally convinced, but would love to hear your views.

(All jewellery from our boutique).

Don't be Arrogant! (Breast Cancer Awareness)

Oct 12, 2011

Most of you following my blog for some time know that I lost my Mum at a very early age (for both of us) to the dreaded Big C. She was only 48, and I was only 24. To think I am only a few years short of when her life ended, makes me shudder every time. In fact she died during Breast Cancer Awareness month-how ironic.

My Mum's favourite flower

So as you can imagine Breast Awareness month is important for me.

I'm not really a "preachy" type, but today I am going to PREACH; loud and bold, because I feel so passionately about this.

I am BEGGING all my lovely followers to please give yourself the gift of this book.

STOP reading your fiction, glossy magazines and anything else just for a few days and read this.

I read this book about 6 years ago ( and I re-read it every year), and was so excited and appalled by what I was reading, that in a frenzied state (which I am known to be afflicted with), I gifted it one October to all my best girlfriends. Suddenly it felt like breast cancer was no longer a lottery; I could really have a lot of say in whether this horrid disease found me or not (despite it running in my family).

Let me tell you this is the book the pharmaceutical companies, and doctors DO NOT want you to read.

As many of you know, I worked as a Consultant for the Medical Research Council for over 10 years, and let me tell you:

*the research that is funded is decided principally by which "big boys" from the Pharma industry are behind the research.
*Most doctors will manipulate their research in line with what a pharmaceutical company asks, if they are behind the funding.I have seen these discussions first-hand, and I was sick to the stomach with what I heard
*The medicine your doctor prescribes you for this deadly disease is decided principally on the price of the medication, NOT the effectiveness.

Lets not forget that BILLIONS have been poured into Cancer Research, and in the last 40 years we are not that much more advanced. If cancer research was a private business, the shareholders would have closed down the business decades ago.

I say in my title "Don't be Arrogant" because I want you to know you could be affected by this deadly disease.
If you look to the left you will see I have 139 Google Followers. Just think, 1 out of every 4 of us are likely to get breast or ovarian cancer. PLEASE don't let it be you.

Two of my very good friends (who I gifted this book too) both had BC before aged 42!
*Both were given months to live.
*Both had young children who they were determined to see grow up (the same as the author). *Both took action from this book, much to the disdain and indignation of their doctors (and sometimes even family).
*Five years later, BOTH are cancer free.(Remember they were both given only months to live!)
From this book they learnt what products to eliminate from their diet (there aren't many, but there is one HUGE one you should know about). They learnt the questions to ask their doctors (the questions the doctors are hoping you don't ask), and they both refused chemotherapy!

PLEASE (don't make me beg again ;-) Buy this book now.

I bought my book from (which offers free international shipping. So no excuses ;-)

Note: I am not a Medic or a Research Scientist (the author is though). I am not "anti-doctors" (I come from a family of doctors). I have NO affiliation with the author or with the Book Depository. I am just someone who doesn't want to be touched again by this horrid disease.

He Loves Me? He loves Me Not?

Oct 10, 2011

Last week saw a wedding here in my "adopted" city of Seville. The wedding of the loveable but eccentric Duchess of Alba (aged 85), to her "toyboy" (aged 61).

The deed has been done

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know there were a lot of tweets and questions about this union.Did the Spansish really love her, or were they laughing at her? What about the groom, did he really love her, or her titles? The questions were thick and fast on Twitter.

I really didn't have an opinion, so asked some of my Spanish clients and friends, was this really a love union? Here are some things I learnt about the Duchess and her celebrated union:

*She is the most noble/titled woman in the world. If she meets Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen must curtsey to her.

Before the perils of Botox and plastic surgery!

*She is descended from King James II and related to both Winston Churchill and Princess Diana
*Her library alone is valued at 36 million pounds and includes Christopher Columbus's first map of America
*She was listed in Vanity Fair's Best Dressed List along with Lady Gaga
* A client of mine here in Spain,who used to be her "Maid of Honour" at all the Debutánte balls told me that "ordinary" Spanish people love her. But the high society of Spain (and especially Seville) are embarrased by her antics and wish she would not be such a "loose cannon".
*However, the citizens of Seville, love her. She is very close to the citizens of the city; she walks around without bodyguards, chats to people etc and has donated a lot of money to various charities in Spain, but particularly in Seville.
* Nothing is known about the past relationships of the Groom. Rumour has it that the Duchess has paid the Press Association (equivalent) not to say anything. Quite common here in Spain.
* She is very happy buying in markets even though she can afford the best designers in the world. Her wedding attire was made by Spanish designers Vittorio & Lucchino.
* She was a first class flamenco dancer when she was younger, learning from THE best flamenco dancer in Spain.

Not quite sure "strutting her stuff" was appropriate. But then again
it was her day, not mine ;-)

* She was the first woman in Spain to master the art of bullfighting whilst mounted on a horse.

At the bull-ring of Seville with Jackie Kennedy.
Clearly poor Jackie O isn't enjoying what she is seeing.

But the big question everyone keeps asking is, are they in love? Everyone you speak to or listen too agrees she is definitely in love. Alfonso Diez (the Groom) is another question altogther. Everyone seems to unanimously agree that he is not in love with her.

What do you think?
*Was this an embarrasing spectacle that had the rest of the world ridiculing her/Spain?
*Should she be allowed to do what she wants even if it goes against protocol?
*If she loves him, why shouldn't she be able to marry at 85, or do you think it's ridiculous to get married at that age?
*Can true love exist between a woman of 85 and a man of 61?

I am still baffled by what I think.I would love to hear what the rest of the world thinks.

Did They Define You?

Oct 4, 2011

Well Monday saw Spanish children FINALLY returning to school. Yes! they've been off since mid June-can you imagine? I don't have children, but I saw a lot of happy looking parents and exhausted-looking grandparents around yesterday.

As I saw some new charges, in their newly pressed and starched uniforms making their way to school, I started thinking back to that feeling I always got at the beginning of the new school term. I loved school, had no problems like bullying etc, loved buying all my new notebooks and pencils (I still love buying stationary today; I must get out more!)

But looking back, my school reports could have on occassion done me more harm than good. I have kept some snippets from my school reports in my Filofax for years. Some of them make me laugh, and one or two make me really angry.

Here's some of what my teachers said about me:

" If Vanessa spent more time concentrating than she does daydreaming, she could really reach her potential"
This really was an accurate assessment. I'm still known for being "away with the fairies" at some points during the day.

"Vanessa will never make an accountant. Her numerical skills are a lot to be desired".
I am slightly number dyslexic, so this was spot-on . You really wouldn't want me balancing your cheque-book!

"Vanessa will always be a good solid B student, never an A".
This comment could have really defined me. Thank God it spurred me on.

"Vanessa will always be one of lifes "plodders!"
OMG! this comment sent my very competitive (but supportive) Mum into convulsions. I'm sure she took to her bed for about 1 week!

"She has so much potential, but doesn't always channel it in the right way".
So true. Just ask my Hubby

"She has such a kind and sweet-nature, I just wish she would concentrate more".
I really loved this teacher. She was about 80 (or so she seemed to me at the time) and she taught me Literature. I have her to thank for my love of books.

The best one, was a remark made to me by my Careers Advisor, aged 16, when we were selecting our subjects for the exams that would see us get into University or not.

"I don't think Vanessa is really University material. I see her more selling perfume in Selfridges!"
This is the comment that sent my Mum into a fit! If it wasn't for my Mum, I really could have let this comment
define who I became. I did return to see this teacher when I graduated from University, but she was nowhere to be found. Perhaps my Mum got to her first ;-)

So dear friends, what can you remember about your school days?
Were you teachers spot on with their assessment of you?
Did you like or hate school?
Was there one teacher who stood out for you as being your loudest cheerleader?

I would love to hear your school-girl tales ;-)