Town or Country?

I spotted the image above of the kitchen of a "cottage by the sea" this morning on Pinterest & it got me thinking....

....imagine you woke up tomorrow and your morning mail contained a cheque large enough to buy a home by the sea or an apartment in the city....

which would you choose?

It doesn't have to be in the country you already live in, for the purpose of this daydream we won't worry about flights & travel.

Would it be a cottage by the sea, a home away from home....
you arrive on a Friday evening after a long week with food supplies for the week-end, maybe with friends, the house is ready and waiting for you.
The beach, the BBQ, long summer evenings with cool drinks....
You grab a week-end bag & some friends (or just your significant other),
you jump on a plane or a train, a few hours and you're in another country.
Museums, new restaurants, exploring, walking, the exciting hustle & bustle and the new rhythm of a different city....
a energy...excitement....discovering new places

I have to say that both options appeal to me, it's so hard to decide.

With all the money in the world, I'd love an apartment in the south of France.
I could use it all year round at week-ends and there's something so therapeutic & calming about being by the sea.

But I am a city girl, I absolutely love exploring new cities & so an apartment in New York City,  Paris or Barcelona would be my idea of heaven.

Being by the sea is an escape but I also find the energy of being in a new city incredibly invigorating.

One thing is for sure, a cabin in the woods will never be on my wish-list,
there must be other houses within earshot.
We have a house in the Italian mountains that all our family holiday in, it's absolutely wonderful apart from at night when you can hear a pin drop & the whole world is pitch-black.
I love it there but find the silence totally unnerving, the nights are very long....
even though you can see the lights of a few houses across the valley,
every day I am so happy & relieved to see the sunrise!

This lake house would be a definite contender!

So, what would you choose?

Oscars 2013 : I Liked It But....

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture
I really went back and forth on this dress....
my conclusion though is that the dress is wearing her and the fabric looks too heavy.
She looks beautiful but uncomfortable.

Reese Witherspoon in Louis Vuitton.
She's so pretty and her hair looks gorgeous here....I think this colour is just okay on her.
I also think the bodice of the dress squashes her.   

Charlize Theron in Dior.
Beautiful but just lacking something for me....
maybe a statement jewellery piece or some colour, an accent of some kind?

Catherine Zeta Jones in Zuhair Murad
I loved her dress & think she is always so glamorous....
last night she appeared to be wearing a lot of make-up, too much.

Jennifer Aniston in Valentino
I absolutely loved seeing Jennifer in something other than black & this dress looks perfect for the Oscars. I think an up-do would have looked better on her though, her hair is just a little casual for the occasion.

Adele wearing Jenny Packham....
yes, it's black again but she looks lovely, her hair and make-up is gorgeous - and she won!! 

Amanda Seyfried in custom Alexander McQueen.
I liked this but just didn't love it....the top half is wrong somehow.

Oscars 2013 : Best Dressed


Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta

I'm always excited to watch the Oscars Red Carpet Show every year & 2013 did not disappoint.

The Golden Globes & the Emmys were underwhelming earlier this year but last night glamour was many beautiful gowns.

To make my "Best Dressed" list, absolutely all the boxes have to be checked....
hair, jewellery, shoes, accessories and, of course, the gown itself.

The gown must fit like a glove, it needs to be glamorous enough & has to be the right colour....
and the wearer needs to be wearing it, as opposed to the dress wearing her.

These are the dresses that made my list this year, these ladies got it 100% right in my opinion....

Sally Field in Valentino Couture

Octavia Spencer - a regular Red Carpet favourite of mine - in Tadashi Shoji

Jennifer Garner in Gucci
I love this colour on her - and well done Ben Affleck for winning an Oscar for "Argo", fantastic! 

Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

Jennifer Hudson in Roberto Cavalli Couture

Sponsored Post : How To Get The Most Out Of Networking Events

Networking is a crucial part of selling your skills and expertise but how do you get yourself noticed instead of feeling like a needle in a haystack. Lists of guests are usually available online so you have time to work out who will be there. This is crucial as you do not want to walk in trying to wing it. Everyone else will have prepared and you won’t stand a chance if you let opportunities slip.

So what do you do?
Find out who you want to talk to and for how long, research names and blogs who could you potentially benefit speaking to. If it is possible make contact in advance and introduce yourself, hint that you would like to speak to him/her at the event. It may not work out as you wish because people may have their own arrangements but make an effort still.

What to expect?
Most people will be nervous but you are all in the same boat and don’t shy away if someone comes to talk to you. Label yourself clearly as one thing which is common at networking events is that you people will try and work out who you are.

Are you actually networking, building contacts, seeking out opportunities? People often forget to ask for contact details so have business cards at hand. It will make you look professional as first impressions count. Share ideas and your thoughts but this isn’t an opportunity to complain how difficult things are, so alternatively be constructive. If someone helps you out, don’t dismiss them but personalise a thank you card which could lead to other opportunities. It’s not just about landing the perfect job opportunity but building your professional profile too. If you don’t feel like you get anything out of the opportunity consider sending a thank you card to the organisers of the event and perhaps ask if you could help organise the next one.

Avoid queues....they may be the most popular person in the room, consider talking to other people too, some who are in the queue.

Social media
As we live in the digital era, most will have an online presence and share the likes of everything. But as recruiters and professionals are using this to head hunt and check profiles, keep yours clean. If you think social media accounts don’t represent the best version of you then update your privacy settings and make new accounts. LinkedIn is the most popular professional social media account so use it to connect and join groups where you can have discussions.

Keep in regular contact with people ask for opportunities and help others too as you never know who could help you in the future.

House Love : Brooklyn Heights

Location : 70 Willow Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

Description : A five storey, double width, high Greek-Revival four bay townhouse
Built : 1839
The house also offers : a three storey elliptical mahogany staircase, 11 fireplaces, 11 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and 12 feet ceilings.

Price : USD$13,995,000

I personally love the yellow brickwork, the gorgeous windows and the columned "Charleston porch", such a fabulous garden space this close to Manhattan is quite a find.
Lots of potential too with regard to the decor.

The house has a lot of history too....Truman Capote lived and wrote here.

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