You Have Got To Be Kidding Me!

EEW!

At first I didn’t even believe it!  But sadly, it’s true.

The FDA-approved azodicarbonamide (I’m so  glad of their high standards, aren’t you?), the same chemical that is used in yoga mats and rubber soles, is also an ingredient found in ‘freshly baked’ Subway sandwich bread in North America (banned in the UK, EU and Australia)!  Who says ‘plastic’ doesn’t taste good when fresh and hot out of the oven?  Chew on that.  And don’t forget to swallow!

This shocking revelation first got national attention thanks to food blogger Vani Hari of foodbabe.com with her petition to Subway for the removal of this sci-fi-like ingredient.  The petition earned over 50,000 signatures (and counting) and subsequently, Subway decided to remove it from their breads.

Whatever the reason, whether virtuous or PR related, at least it’s on its way out.  But question.  WHY was it there in the first place?  I’ll let you ponder over that one.  But for now, let’s keep ingredients that we can’t even pronounce OUT of our mouths and on our feet!

Chemicals in bread?  NO THANK YOU!  So NOT ‘it’ and in fact, worse than **it.

Vani Hari’s conviction followed by action?  A very we-owe-her-big-time ‘it’.

P.S.  Subway, we know you are not the only one using this chemical in our foods.  So thank you for being a leader and removing it, but please don’t replace it with another ingredient, that’s just as bad, down the road! Deal? Deal.

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Changes

I love Autumn. 

It is probably my favourite season.

I love the colours, the crunchy leaves and the cosy nights.

And it reminds me of this great quote by the wonderful C.S. Lewis:

“ISN’T IT FUNNY HOW DAY BY DAY NOTHING CHANGES, BUT WHEN YOU LOOK BACK, EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT?”

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Some ‘it’ food for thought.

Happy Thanksgiving to my ‘Eh?’ followers!

Photograph via ME.

Three Six Five

NOTE: the reading of this entry will be much more appreciated by first listening to the beautiful Auld Lang Syne (which one day can should have its own post) via this memorable scene from Sex and the City.  Done?  OK, you may now read on.

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Reflecting on the year that has just been. The Queen’s annual Christmas Day speech, on the BBC (3pm local time). It’s not Christmas without it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR lovely readers!

I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday and are feeling rejuvenated for the year ahead. Alas, the blogging world did not end on 21/12/12 and our www-dot-com friendship continues (wink, wink). I am truly grateful for each and everyone of you and your loyalty.  I know that I have not been the most entry-producing of bloggers, but believe you me, I do want that to change for 2013, and it is one of my New Year’s Resolutions (NYR).

Although the ‘New Year’ is traditionally a time for resolutions,  I for one have normally not been a NYR type of a gal.  Mainly, because I have always associated ‘September’ as the beginning of the year.  However, I heard of possibly one of the best ideas for a resolution that has left me inspired ever since, and I wanted to share it with you.  It is definitely not your typical ‘eat less, exercise more’ kind of a NYR that usually fails by, say, week 2.  So here it goes.

A friend of a friend decided that for his NYR, he would try something ‘new’ every day for a year.  OK, re-read previous sentence.  Creative, no?  Well, some of the things included on his list were:

  • To read a newspaper he had never read before
  • To play his guitar by the river
  • To take a homeless person out for lunch
  • To do his weekly grocery shop in Harrods (just the once!)

These are just four out of the 365 ideas that he came up with and I can only imagine what else was on his list.  I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this idea when I first heard about it and it made me think about the importance of trying more new things in life;  even something as simple as taking a left turn, where I might normally take a right.  

So for thinking outside of the NYR box and coming up with 365 new ideas, this NYR will be my first ‘it’ for 2013. Here’s to a blessed year!

The Sartorialist: A Meeting

So you all know how much I love The Sartorialist, right?  (In case you don’t, this will explain it).  Well, on an autumn day in mid-September, I happened to be browsing ‘the’ blog and found out that Scott Schuman, its founder, was doing a book signing for his new book CLOSER, at Harrods, that same evening.

After a quick change of plans (I was originally on my way to the opening of a certain artist’s exhibition, but I decided to go to it, post ‘a meeting’), I got in the queue alongside London’s well-dressed of the style/blog scene.  I chatted with some very interesting people, before finally meeting the man behind the lense himself, along with his ‘lady’,  Garance Dore, the recently-hired VOGUE Paris columnist.

Both were very warm and gracious and I was surprised that after my introduction, he in fact did remember my submitted comments which had triggered a re-post of one of his entries in response to them.

The very handsome Mr. Schuman

Funky London blogger in the queue

Spotted waiting by Harrrods’ Door 9 entrance, with CLOSER in hand

Schuman and Dore, signing away

And…the wait was worth it

The one-and-only Harrods, where it all took place

I love full-circle moments.  And by meeting the man himself and going from The Sartorialist: A Dialogue to The Sartorialist: A Meeting, this one felt like a very ‘it’ one.

All photographs via Me

An Inspired Generation

If you know me, you know that Florence is the love of my life, but London is my LOVE (Confused? Don’t worry!). And now, I love London even more than ever before (if that was even possible!). The reason? The Olympics in London 2012.

The Olympic rings on Tower Bridge, a.k.a. ‘the gates to London’.

World Peace on Regent St. (front row): Bulgaria (Europe), Burkina Faso (Africa), Burundi (Africa), Cambodia (Asia), Cameroon (Africa) and Canada (North America)

SO, TAKE A DEEP BREATH, AND CHECK OUT THESE HIGHLIGHTS FROM LONDON 2012:

Inspire a Generation‘, the 100 day countdown, The Olympic Torch here, there and everywhere to sleeping safely at The Tower of London after its dramatic arrival, The Olympic rings on Tower Bridge, a quirky and fun opening ceremony a la Danny Boyle (Beijing 2008’s will always be in a league of its own), 007 and the Queen, the  very original steel and copper Thomas Heatherwick-designed cauldron lit by the ‘next generation’, the best logo…EVER!, the hippest font on fantastic pink signage, the cutest mascots (looove Wenlock and Mandeville!), the most historic and picturesque venues, Mo Farah’s double,  Usain Bolt’s double double, Jessica Ennis’ gold at the Heptathlon, Michael Phelps as the most decorated Olympian of all time, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius a.k.a. the fastest man with no legs running against Bolt, Tom Daley’s splash in the pool after his bronze win, the Italian swimmers lovebirds Filippo Magnini and Federica Pellegrini making out on the tube, Andy Murray‘s first championship win, Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win to Olympic gold, Stephen Kiprotich’s marathon gold and Uganda’s first medal in 40 years, the first  ‘WOMEN’S’ Olympics (36% of medals won by Team GB were by women, Saudi Arabia’s first women delegation at the Olympics, women’s boxing debut as an Olympic event, etc.), the most user-friendly website (and that is coming from me!), empty seats and sellout crowds, free tickets to London schools, tickets ‘for all’ at £20.12…

OK, take another breath and stay with me!

Stella McCartney for Adidas‘ Team GB (individually fitted uniforms for ALL Team GB athletes, years in the making) to Giorgio Armani‘s Team Italia and Ralph Lauren‘s Team USA,  a great Athletes’ Village (the best one yet according to athletes), Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid, The Orbit by Anish Kapoor, the Badminton scandal, 70,000 incredible volunteers a.k.a. ‘the face of the games’, a secure and safe games with gratitude to the army, crowds moving fluidly at every event, a very friendly and fun atmosphere (GB fans cheering on even for other countries), Boris Johnson’s contagious enthusiasm, no congestion on the tube and beyond, the most environmentally-friendly Olympics ever (stadium made of previously used materials, basketball court de-assembled to be re-used, possibly in Rio), The Spice Girls’ reunion at the closing ceremony, and on and on and on. .. ‘An Inspired Generation’ indeed. Mission accomplished 007. Overall, a very priceless ‘it’.

You rock London and you did it with style! And now, the best for last: Paralympics, you are next!

What were your memorable moments of London 2012? Let me know if I missed anything!

More Flags on Regent St.: Norway (Europe), Oman (Asia), Pakistan (Asia) and Palau (Australia / Oceania)

All Photographs via Me

Do Come In To Spend The Queen

First impressions count.  And British retail got it perfectly right when designing their shop displays in honour of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Not only was ‘window shopping’ made even more  fun and exciting, but it also made it more enticing to spend the pound sterling and purchase a piece of  ‘a moment in time’.  After all, a Diamond Jubilee tea towel from Cath Kidston comes around only once every 60 years!

So enjoy some of the great window displays, as seen on and around The King’s Road and Sloane Square, for what was a very ‘it’ shopping experience.

 The fabulous L.K. Bennett, who started out with her first shoe shop in Wimbledon Village.  Kate Middleton made this shoe of Bennett’s very popular when she wore it with several outfits during the week of her wedding.

The Best of British at Space NK. I can spend hours here just browsing!

Jack Wills.  The British answer to Abercrombie & Fitch.

Probably the nicest JIGSAW location in London, at The Duke of York Square.  As we happen to be talking ‘Kate’, this was the company she worked for prior to becoming The Duchess of Cambridge. Love the clothes at Jigsaw.

With her first shop in London’s Notting Hill in 1993, Cath Kidston MBE, has made her signature  nostalgic floral patterns as iconic as the Burberry plaid.  I happen to LOVE her toiletry bags and take mine everywhere with me!

Famous for her candles, fragrances and more, the Jo Malone scent is uforgettable. Loving the hot pink  Union Jack bunting at this Sloane Street location.

The White Company, for all things ‘white’ in luxurious bathroom and bedroom linens. Would not expect anything less than a white display!

Even the Union Jack gets Orla Kiely‘s signature stem design!  Love this Irish, London-based designer.

All Photographs via Me

The Queen of Diamonds

Today is the two-week anniversary of my last post The Diamond Jubilee long weekend celebrations.  The weekend beginning June 2, 2012, marked Queen Elizabeth II‘s 60 years as the Queen of England (and beyond!).

Cover of The Times Newspaper (Saturday, June 2, 2012)

When it comes to serving one’s country from the throne, only one other British monarch has done it for longer:  Queen Victoria with her 63-year reign. No matter what one thinks of the British monarchy (I for one appreciate the tradition, rituals and history it offers), anyone doing the same job for 60 years (not to mention at 86 years of age!), deserves a celebration.  Now that is true dedication!

And celebrate London did. So for the next several posts, I shall be highlighting this once-in-a-lifetime event, which  united the commonwealth and all its people (minus the republicans of course).

Cover of The Times Newspaper (Monday, June 4, 2012)

So for reaching her Diamond Jubilee by being Queen for 60 years, I give this one a very royal ‘it’.

Photographs of newspapers via Me

The Sartorialist: A Dialogue

Something interesting happened in the blogosphere with yours truly, and I thought I would take a moment from my ‘no-blogging-this-diamond-jubilee long weekend’, to report on it.  Here it goes:

It all started with some comments I submitted to The Sartorialist regarding this particular photograph of a skateboarder.

For those of you who have not heard about  The Sartorialist (no excuses, it’s on my IT  Blogs list!), it’s the avant-garde style blog that was started by Scott Schuman in 2005.  Whether you are a design blogger, fashion student, photographer in the making, or simply a life lover, The Sartorialist should be on top of your daily blogs list.  Out of the gazillion blogs out there, he has nailed it like no other.

With loyal followers in the ‘too many to mention’ and the fashion world at his fingertips (the ‘who’s who’ of the industry checks out his daily photos for inspiration, not to mention bestowing upon him last night’s CFDA accolade), The Sartotialist is in a league of his own. 

Knowing all this, I was incredibly surprised and flattered when he took the time to re-post and interpret ‘that’ photograph in response to my very own comments! I thoroughly enjoyed reading his response, and while we may have different points of view, I was excited at the dialogue it created between myself and a blogger I greatly admire, as well as many of his followers.

You can view the entry here to read my paraphrased comments (my original comments were not published), The Sartorialist’s response, my new comment (written whilst half asleep!), and of course, to see the photograph that started it all.

Although I can write a Ph.D. thesis to clarify my original comments (insert wink here)and respond to some of the assumptions made via some readers (and another one here), reading many of the comments makes one thing clear; no matter what we each see in the photograph, its most beautiful aspect is the interpretation it leaves open to us all.

And that kind of a dialogue is an ‘it’ thing.