What do you think about Life Coaching?

Have you heard the term Life Coach before? Apparently Life Coaching is a rapidly growing industry that brings an annual revenue of over $ 1 billion in the US only. People today want a Life Coach to help them do better and achieve more.

What does a Life Coach do?

Today people want to reach their biggest goals and dreams. They want to do something special and meaningful for the rest of their lives. Life Coaching is about helping people take their life, career or business to the next level.

People today want to:

  • Set clear goals and find a way to achieve them
  • Manage their time more effectively
  • Create momentum and see results
  • Become better versions of themselves

What is Life Coaching then?

Life coaching is very different to psychological therapy, as it focuses on moving the individual forward and it has nothing to do with looking back at past issues and trying to resolve traumas. A Life Coach is a consultant, a friend, a motivator, a person that holds you accountable to your own decisions.

This doesn’t mean however, that anyone can do it. The successful Life Coach, needs to have both:

  • the knowledge to identify the core issues
  • the talent to energise and motivate the client to act

What do you think about Life Coaching?

Would you be interested? Would you try it? Personally, I would hesitate to allow someone so much into my life and into my thoughts and my dreams. This sort of thing seems far too personal to me to be hiring someone to help; no matter how skilled or talented they might be.

Would you be tempted to hire a Life Coach? Would you like to have a professional help you make your dreams come true? Send me a reply and share your thoughts.

A child remembers: Inside the pistachio tree

I’m in the pistachio tree watching my mother walk away. Here to stay for two months with grandpa and grandma. In the little house in a field with trees and flowers and vegetables all around. There are lots and lots of pistachio trees for me to climb, and lots of pine trees in the forest on higher ground.

Up there is my fairyland with a swing hanging from the tallest tree, and a view of the sea in the distance. I can still, even now, smell the pine leaves on the wet ground, the earthiness of the land. I can hear the bells from the sheep grazing nearby, while staring at the dark damp soil underneath my feet. 

Child on a swing in the air

The real action is inside my pistachio tree. The one on the edge of the field, the one that allows me to see everything without being seen. It is my castle and my ship, my joy. The challenge is to reach as high as possible.

It is lonely in there too. My grandpa takes care of the trees and the vegetables, and my grandma looks after the house and cooks our meals. I’m alone but I’m also free to climb, to hide, to fall and get up, to get hurt and get happy.

Sometimes I get off my tree in order to create mud pies adorned with beautiful plants. The flowers are offering their petals for my creations and my tree is always there to hide me. Especially if I damaged granny’s favourite flower, or rather the second favourite. The one she likes the most is protected by bees. It has big, red and orange petals shaped like a funnel, with yellow stems. Inside there is always, always bees. They are like an army of protectors guarding its beauty.

My grandmother only calls me over to eat. The best food ever! Eggs and sausages fried in a tiny old pan; so bumped it can hardly stand straight over the fire. But it cooks for me and only me. The white is so shiny and the yellow so bright. The warmth of the sun in my plate!

I eat, I play, I make my artwork and I make a mess and back again inside my pistachio tree. High up among the branches and the leaves, looking to see if my mother is coming back.

Have you got any memories to share?

Abstract Balance Art

Here is my visual take on Balance. A seesaw in life’s playground going up and down in a continuous effort to find balance.

Do you like my art? I would love to read your feedback.

If you like it, I’d be happy to send the image to you to use anyway you like. I don’t mind. Just ask for it in your reply below or use my contact page.

Abstract seesaw using blue and pink

From one thought to another and back again

Abstract form of seesaw using blue and yellow

Back and forth, up and down

Things I wish my mother had told me. Thoughts on the book.

Book Review: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Lessons in Grace and Elegance by Lucia Van Der Post. John Murray Publishers, UK, London 2008.

I chose to write about this book because of its title. The mention of My Mother brings to mind so many things… Personal things I wished my mother had told me years ago, and most importantly, things I have to say to my daughters! This is going to be a review with that in mind.

Lucia Van Der Post is an associate editor of the Financial Times’s How to Spent it magazine, and has also written for the New Statesman, Departures and many others. She writes about style and luxury and has a devoted audience.

Inside  the Book

The book covers a variety of themes such as: How to Wear Clothes; How to look Good; Love, Marriage and Happiness; Perfect Presents; Fun and Games. Her Lessons in Grace and Elegance derive from personal experience and are solidified by her proven reputation as lifestyle writer. She offers valuable advice such as a list entailing what is worth spending money on. There is also her “golden rules” for shopping at the sales. Her advise is timeless and it extends beyond dressing elegantly and looking smart. She also offers insights into being a good host, a stylish professional and a delightful friend.

Going back to the title, there is clearly a positive message. You don’t have to worry about the things your mother didn’t tell you; you will find everything in here! And you do find everything in there.

What do I tell my daughters?

I think this book is practical rather than inspirational; it does cover everything in a very comprehensive way. More importantly, this book made me think about my role as a mother. It made me think about all the things I have to tell my daughters. It made me realize that I’m not here to teach them the basics and remind them to do their homework. My role is a lot more complex than that. It is equally important that they know how to take good care of themselves, how to manage their life, their manners, their feminine questions and aspirations. I’m not sure how much help I actually got from this book, but the title stayed with me over the years and made me feel more responsible as a mother. I hope I will be able to teach them how to determine their unique identity, how to define their personal look, how to set their priorities and lead their lives in a balanced way. Elegance and style included!

I would love to read your thoughts on this. As a mother what do I need to tell to my daughters? What would be the most important lesson? How do I teach them without being overbearing? Any ideas?



Revealed: How to determine your perfect style in 5 steps

It’s all about style isn’t it? Stylish home, stylish look, stylish life. Easier said than done. So what can we do to accomplish this? The main thing is to determine your perfect style. Determine the images that reflect your personal preferences. Everyone is different and has different views on things, so embrace this. Determine your ideal and bingo! You are half way there. Below you can find 5 easy steps to help you pinpoint the look you prefer. Remove the rest and make choices that support this throughout your life. Once you know your direction you can ignore the sidelines and the distractions.

Step 1: Look for the archetype

Next time you look at magazines, look for the archetypes of each era that still influence and define today’s looks. Look for:

  • Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich or Josephine Baker from the 20’s and 30’s with All That Jazz and Art Deco.
  • Any model portraying Christian Dior’s iconic New Look from the 50’s. See Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and Grace Kelly in Hitchcock movies.
  • Jackie O and Twiggy. Audrey Hepburn dressed by Givenchy. Look at the iconic scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  • Then again, you might prefer the bohemian look from the 70’s, the groupie look or the glamorous Studio 54 influences.
  • You might prefer the Old School prettiness of the Royals or the pop culture of Vivienne Westwood.
Step 2: Choose what you like

Choose the image you like best and keep it in your mind. Think about it and determine the elements that speak to you. Is it the colours, the shapes, the idea behind it? Do you want to feel sexy like Brigitte Bardot or pretty like Audrey Hepburn? Is the bohemian ease more you? Whatever it is, keep it close to your heart.

Step 3: Reality check part I

Well, now it’s time for the reality check. Take an honest look in the mirror and decide on your best bits. What do you love about your body that you can showcase with your true style? Forget about dieting, exercising, etc. Now, today how can your beautiful eyes smile more? Isolate the elements that flatter you and ignore the rest.

Step 4: Reality check part II

Look at your life style, your everyday activities, and your workplace. Look at who you are and who you want to be and balance the two. Balance them in a way that is the most flattering and the most respectful of your identity. No point investing in heels when your life involves running around all day. There are so many choices in sport shoes today, they can be as ornamented or as plain as you like.

Step 5: Discipline

Last point is discipline. Yes, discipline comes into this as well! Once you identify your look, stick to it. You buy nothing out of this spectrum of colours and shapes. This pays off in style and in money. You don’t end up with unfit pieces that don’t match with anything. Impulse buying can be uplifting, but treat it with scepticism. And don’t mix different styles together. Every piece has an identity; it belongs to a category. Nothing worse than a boho dress with a sharp jacket. You can mix and match options but they need to belong to the same category. Let your message be clear.

On a final note, pinpoint the image you like and have fun with it.

Let it be your signature, a point of reference for your choices. No style endeavour is going to be complete unless you look at your mind as well as your body. Make sure your choices respect your unique personality.

Make your dressing ritual a source of confidence that leads to a beautiful day.

And smile!

PARISIAN CHIC, all you need to know about style with character


PARISIAN CHIC, A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet, Flammarion, S.A.,Paris, English language edition, 2011

This is a review of my favourite book on style and elegance. I first read it six years ago and still read it for tips, ideas or inspiration. The creator of this book, Ines de la Fressange, is a respected fashion icon since the eighties. In 1983 she was the first model to sign an exclusive contract with an Haute Couture fashion house in Paris, Chanel. Today she is still actively involved in the fashion world, creating her own designs for her store. She has also written Parisian Chic LOOK BOOK – What should I wear today? and The Parisian Field Guide to Men’s Style. She continues to work in collaboration with various fashion houses. Sophie Gachet who worked with her for this book is a fashion journalist.

Style is about attitude

This book covers four main themes, how to dress, how to look beautiful, how to inject style into your house, and what to do when you are in Paris. Every theme contains colourful paragraphs with thoughts, tips and ideas. There is advice on what to do and what not to do! She makes some very specific suggestions for the basic elements of a comprehensive wardrobe and beauty cabinet. She gives lots of addresses of great stores too, both physical and online.

Ines has created herself the illustrations throughout the pages, and her daughter is the model in the fashion shots. This gives a very personal tone to the book.

The heart of this book

This book definitely achieves its goal, and more. It makes you love style, Paris and yourself! The playful approach makes the ideas relatable and easy to read. And it also makes you realize you don’t need to obsess about rules. For a truly Parisian attitude let your spirit free! Love and respect yourself!

The Parisian follows a few golden rules, but she likes to transgress too. It’s part of the style.” (p.11)

I like Parisian Chic because it provides guidance without being restrictive; it provides a starting point but leaves enough room for a personal touch. I enjoyed the ratio of words to images. There is enough text to explain and enough images to visualize and inspire. I love the fact that you can also see the author’s character shine through the pages, confident, unapologetic and radiant.

This book makes sense and it doesn’t lead to vanity. It leads to self reflection. Throughout there are remarks reminding us of the basic rules of taking care of ourselves.

Don’t go bankrupt buying expensive face creams – the best beauty parlor is your local dentist. An attractive smile and great teeth are the best way to forgive and forget the rest!” (p.117)

The message is clear. Don’t try to be someone else; try to be the best version of you. Let yourself shine through understated garments and accessories that function well together. Carefully chosen elements will add finesse to a woman that is oozing confidence and ease.

I first read this book a little after the birth of my youngest daughter. I had just returned to my normal weight and was in need for some new and timeless outfits. In my world, being a mom of two doesn’t allow for extravagant and ephemeral choices; not enough time, not enough money. So I decided to stick to her suggestions and over the years I bought several of those pieces. Her advice never failed me. I managed to accumulate a collection of basic items that can take me everywhere. No need to run around at the last minute. Unless I feel like it!



Hello world!


How are you? I’m happy to be here, talking to you.

Let’s open our window to the world! Let fresh air come in and the sun warm our faces. I am grateful for being here with you. There is so much to talk about, to share.

Recently, I learned so many things that enable me to communicate with you. I learned to write online ethically, to use colours and headings, and pictures, and tags. I am able to understand this world a bit better now and appreciate that there is so much more to learn.

I also realised that our creativity is endless. Inspiration can be found, we just have to look for it. Inspiration enables us convey our feeling, our message. It is so beautiful to find new interesting ways to express your voice. And it’s nice to get heard. And receive a response.

I would love it, if you were to reply to me with your thoughts. Whether you agree with me or not I’d love to hear it. Finding balance between opposites is my thing. Sometimes we have to choose, sometimes we can have both, sometimes we compromise. In any case inspiration makes this all the more interesting.

We have so many responsibilities at work and at home. By sharing our stories we can make our lives better; slightly better tomorrow and even better the day after.

I’d love to talk about things we care about. Things like finding inspiration and beauty in everyday life. Fully aware that both are easily lost in the hectic rhythms of our lives.

Dear world, before saying goodbye I would like to say how grateful I am to be celebrating my online presence today. Our human desire to connect and share our stories is powerful and amazing. An honest and intimate voice is so loved. I hope we can be friends.

All the best!

One year from today


This is a post about wishful thinking. Or is it about setting goals? It can be about dreaming, but it can also be about development.

Inevitably one has to accept that the two are linked, and I guess writing this post I will address both.

Let’s start with dreams. One year from today I wish to be your friend. I wish there is honesty and intimacy in our relationship, and you enjoy reading this blog. I would love to be able to devote all of my time to this and develop a useful platform for us.

On a more practical note, one year from now I want my writing to be crisp, fresh and appealing. I want to cultivate my ability to connect. Posting regularly for a year entails a lot of practice, lots of trials and errors. Hopefully a year later I will have had plenty of feedback for my improvement. My steps will be more steady and my voice more precise.

I just wish I keep getting better. So my goal for next year is a magical number of readers that will make this real.

A year from today I will be a lot more knowledgeable and experienced. Probably gone through some failures and difficulties along the way too. I’m trying to be realistic here!

And I do plan to call upon my creativity and imagination. Put them to work to prove their existence and their depth. I do believe inspiration is all around us – so it’s time to find it!

Finally, I want to make a promise. One year from today I will still be here, posting and sharing. This day next year the post will be titled One year later. In it I go back, retrace my steps and talk to you about my successes and my failures. That will be interesting!

Until next time!

Our community

This is a post about our community, about who we are and what unites us. This is an opportunity to introduce myself and explain my reasons for being here. I want us to learn from each other. I want us to discuss how we can get inspired and live our passions, and also how we can balance dreams and reality.

Who we are

We are the women who care about elegance and style and this is neither our profession nor our only concern. We strive to balance those in a full life with limited resources.

We live complicated lives. We have a job full of demands, a partner that expects us to be superheroes and serene at the same time, we have children that need our care.

We desire to do our best

  • to do great at work and look the part every day. Own the perfect look, and the right set of skills for that promotion
  • to host dinners with home cooked goods without losing composure
  • to organise the loveliest party with a personal touch, care, attention
  • to attend family gatherings of any kind without losing our temper while wearing the right attire

Introducing myself

I am here to provide a platform for our explorations, for our communication, for sharing tips and ideas. I am here to discuss balance  and the challenges it poses. I will review books on our favourite subject, style, and post my notes on a separate page in this blog. Next week I plan to post my thoughts on my favourite book so far! It’s a surprise! I have read quite a few already but feel free to make suggestions; I’d love to read them all.

In this blog you will find tips and posts about organising a beautiful party without losing your mind. I will also provide an outline for scheduling the preparations. The focus is on delivering without forgetting about yourself. To remember the food, the decor, the dress, and also to breathe.

Sharing our passions

I want us to get to know each other, exchange notes and ideas. Find the images that inspire us in books, magazines and online and share them. I want to discuss ways to live our passion.

Firstly, choose to live your passion!  Then you will find the way. Make it a priority and form your world accordingly.

Practically this means create room for your passion, in your mind and in your life.  For me that means clearing my office space from old school books and redundant notes, and putting in a bookcase. I want it to be red. And then I absolutely need to place an inspiration board above that bookcase. I can almost see my board full of pictures of colourful china, tranquil rooms and outfits that take me places.

On balancing dreams and reality

How do we do all that in a complicated life with complicated finances?

Balance comes into play here. There is much to say about finding balance. Lots of posts will follow on this topic as it constantly intrigues me.

I will be writing lots about balancing the options and choosing the best one for you. About disentangling yourself from perfectionism and choosing the solution that is right for you.

The tailor made version of things that compliments your character, and lets you shine through the adversities and the challenges of everyday life.

The main thing is to stay focused

Don’t forget what’s important to you

Go for the little things every day. One step at a time, only make sure you remember where you are going.


 It is evident that this is about belonging, about common ideas, and common priorities.

It would be amazing to take this community forward and empower each and every one of us. Drive progress and improvement with tips and ideas.

For our peace of mind and our styling choices

For our presence in the outside world and inside our minds

For our fulfilment and happiness and love for ourselves and others.

Receiving feedback would be amazing so please send me your comments using the reply button below. Thank you so much!