Sunday, 25 April 2021

HOW I STYLED MY NEW RL POLO BLACK DOUBLE BREASTED BLAZER PART II

 Hello everyone, hope you are doing well

By following the blogs of my English friends, I learned that the things in Britain are looking good ๐Ÿ˜„:  the businesses are starting to open up and people can move more freely and do a lot of things they were not able to do for a long, long time.

We Australians, consider ourselves extremely lucky as we practically got rid of locally transmitted Covid-19.  Our borders are still shut to the world๐Ÿ˜ž and the only people who are allowed to cross them are Australian nationals returning home.  

Do you remember my new RL black double breasted blazer that I recently shared with you here?  As our weather is cooling down, I am relying more and more on its presence in my wardrobe.  I am wearing it with almost everything, thanks to its versatility which brings me to today's outfit.

It is another monochromatic outfit but this time it's in reverse, i.e. black on the top, white on the bottom.  I love wearing white denim pants and judging by the number of outfit images shared on various media platforms, so do many other women, and not just in the warm months but even in winter.

The top is above mentioned RL black double-breasted blazer (new), all other elements of this outfit are old and have been shown before in various posts.

Have a great week ahead

Until then,

Anna

xoxo


 










































Thursday, 15 April 2021

BLACK LINEN PANTS WITH PEARL BUTTONS

 Hello dear friends, hope you are well.

I had quite a busy week.  My grandson just turned two months and I thought it was high time to introduce him to my extended family.  BC (before COVID) times, they would just roll up at the hospital the next day after his birth bearing gifts, flowers and best wishes and it would be all.  Now, with the restrictions limiting the number of visitors to just two at time and the time that the mother and a new born stay at the hospital is shortened to the necessary minimum, some of them didn't even have a chance to stop by.  Then my daughter didn't want to have anything till his first vaccination, then there was Pesach closely followed by Easter and at long last, the date was set.  

Traditionally, it's the young parents who would host such an occasion with the help of grandparents, of course, however, unluckily for me, my daughter wasn't interested in doing anything at all which I kind of understand, what with looking after two children under school age and all, so I took it upon myself to take charge and have it at my home.  

I prepped, chopped, sliced, marinated and cooked loads of food for twenty people (eighteen of mine +my two in-laws).  My husband took a rain over BBQ while I was playing a role of the hostess with the mostest ๐Ÿ˜‹. 

We both felt totally exhausted by the end of the big day but everyone seemed to be enjoying  themselves judging by the number of phone calls and messages I received from my guests afterwards thanking me for having a good time.  Mission accomplished๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘. 

Although the Australian summer season is officially over,  the days are surprisingly warm and we can still wear our light clothes.  Speaking of light clothes, this summer season the most commonly worn fabric on the fashion scene was linen.  

I have never seen so many women dressed in linen smocks or men wearing linen shirts and shorts since my last trip to Italy.  I wasn't going to jump on this wagon until I saw these black cropped linen pants from Pingpong.  

The problem with having too many black pants is that quite often they look almost identical unless there is some distinctive feature that will tell them apart.  In the case of my new trousers, it was the presence of white pearl decorative buttons that set makes them look different that caught my eye.

This outfit is rather obvious, a never failed old time favourite black and white combo from head to toe.  The blouse is from Reiss that I previously modelled for you here, I like the striking contrast of these two colours:  white blouse against black pants punctuated by the big white pearl buttons all the way dawn to my black&white LV sneakers.  Even my off-white Furla handbag comes with a black trim around it ๐Ÿ˜€.

Hopefully the weather will hold a little longer so I can give my new purchase a whole run.

Till the next post, dear friends

Anna

xoxo



































Sunday, 11 April 2021

POSTER OF FIGS BY PHOTOWALL

Hello everyone, how are you all

Today’s post is not much about clothes but more about home dรฉcor.  I don’t think I ever mentioned it but home styling and decorating is one of my passions and I am more than happy when my friends seek my advice on this subject.  I also run a small consultancy business where I advise my clients on colour schemes and accessories and help them in sourcing furniture, textiles and art which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

POSTER OF FIGS BY PHOTOWALL

Recently I was asked to collaborate by a company called Photowall where I was offered to have one of their works of my choice.   I was quite interested to find out what type of images are on offer in case one of my clients would ask me to help them to choose an artwork suitable for their home so as you can see this collaboration was right up my alley.

I wasn’t familiar with this company before.  As the name suggests, they specialise in printing artworks of your choice that could be framed (and you can choose from white, black or a natural appearance) or an unframed picture, with or without a border, you can have it printed on canvas or as a poster.  You can also select the size of your artwork.  Their library is enormous, there over twenty categories on offer, covering all sorts of tastes and interests:  nature, mystic, architecture, cities and places, children, food & drink, just to name a few, some of them contain more than thousand choices but if that cannot satisfy your demand,  you can ask them to customise and print an image of your own.  

POSTER OF FIGS BY PHOTOWALL

Some people like to scroll through the whole library just waiting until something catches their eye, others would know exactly what they are looking for.  Either way, once you decided on the image you would like to purchase, you will be asked to choose its appearance, i.e. would you like to have it printed on canvas or paper, framed or unframed etc.  All steps are pretty straight forward and each option can be clearly seen on the screen.  All the steps are pretty straight forward and once the invoice is paid, the final artwork can be at your door within the next 3 days, depending of what type of delivery you paid for.

In my case, I knew exactly what I wanted.  My daughter and her partner are renovating a kitchen/dining area of their home as we speak and this image of ripe figs that I chose for them would be perfect for this part of their house. 

POSTER OF FIGS BY PHOTOWALL

Meanwhile I am incorporating it into a small vignette above my antique wooden cabinet that my husband schlepped all the way from South Africa.  Do not you think this image is lovely? I am sure, my daughter would be happy to have it on her wall.

POSTER OF FIGS BY PHOTOWALL

You can view the Photowall work by clicking on the link.  Use this code lookingfabulousatfifty25 to receive 25% discount and have fun.

If you unsure of what image to hang on your wall, I will be more than happy to help you with your enquiry.  Just send your question to my email:  annamarcus@optusnet.com.au.

 

Until then,

Anna

xoxo












Monday, 29 March 2021

HOW I WORE MY NEW POLO RL BLAZER

Hi everyone, hope you are well.

As our summer is coming to an end, I decided to make a stocktake of my wardrobe to make sure that I am ready for autumn.  During this process it was revealed that I might need to buy myself a new jacket as the one I’ve been wearing last season has become slightly tight ๐Ÿ˜ก

HOW I WORE MY NEW  POLO RL BLAZER

I have been thinking of investing money into an iconic blazer for a while and looks like the time has come for me to do just that.  Paying a fair amount of money for a good quality, timeless pieces of clothing or accessories aka investment pieces is not a new concept to me and I can attest that if you do your research and spend your money wisely, it’s money well spent ๐Ÿ‘. 

 

Truth be told, I can’t remember ever spending a small fortune on my clothes or accessories, however over the years I did pay fair amount of money on high end leather goods like handbags, shoes and belts and never regret buying any of these items.  When you buy an expensive handbag, you are not just paying for the label, you are paying for high quality, excellent services and years of enjoyment.

 

Clothes is a slightly different matter, still a good quality item of closing should last you for a few good years without showing any signs of wear as well as always looking smart and in fashion.

Armed with this knowledge, I set myself out on a mission to buy a good quality smart looking blazer that will not break the bank.  Alas, after perusing the internet for a few hours, it appears to be a slight problem as every item that I liked costs much more that I was prepared to spend. 

 

Then one day I was shopping for a gift for my husband at a department store and stopped at Ralph Lauren’s concession stand to check what’s on offer.  Their blazers look sharp and smart but I dismissed the ones that bore the RL crest on a breast pocket but then a plain double-breasted black blazer in knitted fabric caught my eye.  The crest was nowhere to be seen, just the signature silver buttons that run along the front and four buttons on each cuff.  It looked good, so I decided to try it on.

 

I instantly liked its fit. I have quite narrow shoulders and often when I put a blazer or a coat on, it looks like the shoulder line of the garment extends well past my shoulder bone which makes the extra fabric sag around my upper arm which does not look good at all.  Luckily, this blazer was exactly what the doctor ordered ๐Ÿ˜‰.  I liked its length, not too long, not too short.  It looked sharp when buttoned-up and has a casual chic vibe when opened.  Long story short – I bought it.

 

I was keen to see how well it would look worn with my existing wardrobe, like I do with any new item of clothing that I buy before I make a final decision.  After a few different combos, the verdict was in, I am keeping it.

 

Here is just one outfit that I came with during the “trial period” as I call it.  It has been quite a few years since I wore a short skirt but I thought I would give it a go.  I wanted to maintain a smart look despite that my skirt was quite short and for that reason I chose to wear black from head to toe.  The only exception to it was a long string of white pearls which I wrapped around my neck. 

 

I have another outfit in mind that involves this jacket but I will save it for another post.

Until then,

Anna

Linking up with Independent Fashion Bloggers 

This post was featured on Links ร  la Mode fashion roundup by Independent Fashion Bloggers.

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Sunday, 14 March 2021

WEEKENDS ARE PRECIOUS

Hello dear friends.  How are you all?

We in Sydney are so lucky with the weather despite the fact that our summer is officially over that we use every opportunity to spend time outdoors and last weekend was no exception.  The weather is exceptionally good, not as hot as it was in summer and definitely less humid, just a delight to be outside ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Weekends are precious and you want to make the most of it.  You have two glorious days devoid of responsibilities and full of possibilities.   Last Sunday blessed with the glorious weather, we drove to the beach suburb of Bundeena, about a one hour drive from our home which runs first along the coast, then through the Royal National Park.  Truth be told, neither my husband nor myself nor my friends had heard about this beachside suburb before and yet it is a lovely place situated between the coast on one side and by the Park on the other, so they have the best of both worlds.  This attracts a lot of visitors from other suburbs, especially on weekends but somehow it didn’t feel overcrowded.

When we arrived in the late morning, the local market was in full swing and we walked around sampling local delicacies, checking out the wares and just watching the crowd having a good time to the soft tune of a local band.

The other reason we went there was to follow the so called Art Trail where the local artists open their studios and invite the public to come in, browse through their art works and even make a purchase or two.  One of the artists even kindly allowed me to be photographed in her garden.

We had lunch at a lovely cafรฉ and then took a stroll along the main drag and down to the water, then got in our car and went around for the drive.

My outfit for the day was a simple black spaghetti strap dress and espadrilles - comfortable, casual yet good enough to walk into a nice cafรฉ and didn’t look out of place.  Lately, I took to liking to tie a nice scarf around my shoulder when I am wearing a sleeveless dress partly to protect my shoulders from the harsh Australian sun but mainly, I’ve become hugely attracted to them after watching a French TV show called Dix Pour Cent or Call My Agent in English on Netflix (which I would definitely recommend) where I noticed how men and women alike always have a scarf wrapped around the neck with everything they wear.  

And they do it with such a panache or as French call it je ne sais quoi.  I was also influenced by watching French movies during the Alliance-Francaise French Film Festival which is, to my delight, is in Sydney at the moment.   Both, my husband and I๐Ÿ’– love European cinematography. Last year we only managed to watch one movie and then everything went into lockdown.  So far, we saw Appearances, a modern day drama, Delicious, a recipe for sensory overload and 1968 remake of Breathless with Jean Paul Belmondo (does anyone else remember him?) So far, three out of three, all were different but equally enjoyable ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘.

Seeing J P Belmondo on the the screen brought back memories of my childhood. We grew up watching Italian and French movies back in Russia.  Sadly, they are not on the list of the most popular to watch here in Australia that’s why when the Italian or French film festival arrives, I become extremely excited and we try to watch as many movies as humanly possible.

And this is it for today’s post.  Hope you enjoy reading it, do leave a comment to let me know.

Until then,

Anna

xoxo
























 

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

WHAT TO DO IN ORANGE IN FOUR DAYS

Hello everybody, how are you?

Last week I was completely off the grid.  My husband and I have been talking for some time now about taking a short break from the daily grind and go away but we couldn't go as we were expecting the arrival of my second grandchild (it's a boy and they named him Theodore ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ˜).  Now that the mother and the baby are settling nicely into their routine with the help of his dad who is on paternity leave for three weeks (this is all new to me, there was no paternity leave when I had my two kids) we thought it would be perfect timing to take off.  And so we did.

While leafing through a travel magazine, I came across an interesting article about a place called Orange and its surroundings.  Apparently, the Orange region is a fruit growing district and produces apples, pears and many stone fruits such as cherries and apricots.  In recent years a large number of vineyards have been planted in the area for the rapidly expanding wine production.  Also known for its excellent local produce and fine dining experience and often referred as the “Food basket of Australia", helped Orange region to gain status as one of Australia’s most prominent and sophisticated food and wine destinations.

I liked what I read, did some research and revealed my findings to my husband who immediately agreed that this is the place worth visiting.  We then spent a couple of hours looking for places to stay, eat and see, making bookings and placing enquiries.

So last Wednesday morning we loaded our bags into our car and drove off towards our new adventure.  Orange is about a three to four hour drive from Sydney depending on the traffic.  Usually, any drive that is longer than three hours sends a shiver down my spine and makes my husband tense in anticipation of my impatience but he didn’t need to worry.  The drive was a delight, with an ever changing landscape on both sides of the road of rolling hills, green valleys, vineyards, cattle and lakes I didn’t have time to feel bored.  

VIEW OVER ORANGE REGION

We arrived in Orange in the late afternoon and checked into the RemingtonHotel which just opened last December but has already earned a reputation for its Whitney restaurant that serves casual food by day and fine dining by night.  The room was spacious and well-appointed and we happily settled in for the next four days.  After a quick dinner we got in the car and drove into city centre just to see what is happening there at night.  To our great surprise, the city centre as well as the neighbouring streets were totally deserted apart from a few random passers-by.  

ON THE TOP OF MOUNT CANOBOLAS

MOUNT CANOBOLAS

It was as unusual to us as we live in such a densely populated throbbing hub which never goes quiet.  But it didn’t upset us in the slightest. On the contrary, it felt nice for a change to walk along the streets without the fear of being bumped by a someone or nearly run over by a bicycle and to have a peaceful sleep uninterrupted by the music blaring from the roaring vehicles driving by, neighbours watching TV on full blast or having a party at two am or Council workers collecting the garbage at 5 am in the morning.

Actually, since COVID forced us into lockdown, I’ve completely changed my view over our life style.  Whereas in the past, I would thrive amidst the noise, crowds and hyper activity happening around me, now I crave for peace and quiet.  Sometimes I even contemplate moving out of Sydney and settling into a small country town but don’t think I am quite ready for it yet.  But I digress. 

MILLTHORPE, ORANGE REGION

WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN ORANGE AND SURROUNDINGS

The next morning, refreshed and re-charged we were ready to explore the area and that we did for the next three days.  The first stop on our itinerary was a charming town called Millthorpe, a picturesque heritage-listed town with cobbled streets and relatively unchanged 19th century buildings.  It also houses an award-winning restaurant called Tonic.  
There is a number of country pubs serving traditional pub grub, boutique shops, art galleries, cellar doors and other attractions that enhance its charm, and highlight Millthorpe’s sophistication and eclectic style.  We had our lunch at Millthorpe Provedore, a local cafรฉ come grocery store that proudly supports local producers and suppliers, then got into the car and after a short drive arrived at a small colonial village called Blaney and after a quick look around, drove to Corcoran, a similarly cosy and charming village nearby.  
APPLE ORCHID BORRODELL ESTATE

In the following days in no particular order we drove to Borrodell Estate where we had a wine tasting and bought a couple of bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, my favourite wine.  As we took a walk around the grounds, we came across an apple orchid full of ripe delicious apples ready to be picked. 

APPLE ORCHARD BORODELL ESTATE

VEIW FROM BORRODELL ESTATE OVER ORANGE REGION

We had lunch at Agrestic Grocer farm where everything on the menu and on the shelves was locally grown organic produce.

BORRODELL ESTATE

We drove up Mount Canobolas and enjoyed the panorama of the whole Orange region sprawled around us in its full beauty, then drove down to the Lake Conoblas and had a picnic.

LAKE CANOBOLAS

LAKE CANOBOLAS

The proximity of one place of interest to another, there was nothing further than half an hour drive away which gave us ample opportunity to explore the area without wasting too much time in traveling.  Although, I must say we enjoyed driving around the area enjoying the beautiful scenery, clear blue skies, absence of traffic and the hospitality of locals.

LAKE CANOBOLAS

BEST PLACES TO EAT IN ORANGE

During our preliminary research, we came across a list of best local restaurants and went ahead and booked a few. The first booking on our list was dinner at award winning restaurant called Charred Kitchen & Bar, a fine dining establishment with the relaxed atmosphere and seriously delicious food.  Due to COVID, only a tasting menu was available like in the most of the restaurants we have been to, which could be tricky as sometimes not all the dishes on the menu came out at the top of the chef’s game but I needn’t worry as all four dishes were absolutely superb.  Each dish was exquisitely presented and has its own providence, most elements of each dish came either from their own garden or was locally sourced.

The following evening we tried another local gem, Lolli Redini, another hatted restaurant specializing in French cuisine.  Despite winning so many food and wine awards, the food and ambiance were rather underwhelming, although their most popular double baked cheese soufflรฉ was superb. 

Last but not least on our list (pun not intended) was a restaurant called Schoolhouse. Its occupies a gorgeous old building previously own by Union Bank, featuring tall paned windows, high ceilings, old fireplaces, timber floors and black and white tiles.  When the waiter brought us some complimentary bread cooked in-house using the flour from the local mill with miso butter, we were sold.  The rest of the meal was as scrumptious, the staff polite, knowledgeable and very attentive without being too familiar.  We couldn’t fault it.  We were so happy that we came here on our last night in Orange, it was a perfect way to end up our perfect sojourn.

The next morning, we packed, paid the bill and came back to reality.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.  Please free to ask me any questions, your comments are always welcome.

Cheers,

Anna