White House Week


This week, President Obama and the First Lady travelled to India, their first time visting the South Asian nation since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in on May 26, 2014.

The President and the Prime Minister of India welcomed President Obama as the chief guest at India's 66th Republic Day celebrations -- a day that honors when India's constitution officially went into effect. President Obama is the first U.S. president to attend this historic event.

President Barack Obama speaks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Republic Day Parade at the Rajpath saluting base in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The President and Prime Minister Modi also pledged to enhance U.S.-Indian cooperation on mutual climate and clean energy goals. From the highly successful U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) umbrella program to technical work on emerging technologies, the U.S. and India made important progress on combating climate change.

The agreements include:

  • Enhancing bilateral climate change cooperation to achieve a successful and ambition agreement in Paris this year.
  • Cooperating on Hydroflurocarbons to make concrete progress in the Montreal Protocol this year
  • Expanding PACE-R, the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Reserach and Development Center, to extend funding for research on solar energy, energy efficiency, and advanced biofuels. 
  • Launching air quality cooperation to help urban residents reduce their exposure to harmful levels of air pollution. 
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd at the Rajpath saluting base following the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Valentine's Day with Tory Burch


If I was gifted any of these items this Valentine's Day, I'd know who my Valentine was!

January Goals: Get fit!


At this time of year many of us are looking to get fitter, lose some weight and embrace a healthier lifestyle. I'm one of these people, although, my quest is not limited to just one month of the year! It's a continual quest for me, and I'm pleased to say that I'm getting there! I feel so much better for ditching sugar and doing a set of exercises every night that I actually enjoy!

Fitness trainer Julia Buckley is an inspirational individual in the world of fitness. In fact she used to be 'sports phobic' and now has a successful career helping others to enjoy sport and exercise. Her book 'The Fat Burn Revolution' is packed full of great tips and exercises to help you get healthy, and she's sharing some of them with us below.

Stop judging yourself
If you’re constantly telling yourself how awful you look, how unfit you are, how terrible your performance is while you’re exercising you’re bound to expect others to think the same. However “unnatural” it feels, work on thinking more positively about yourself. Give yourself credit for “getting on with it”- exercising isn’t always easy, but you’re doing it and you’re getting fitter and stronger with every session. Give yourself a kudos for that at least, then begin drowning out negativity with more helpful self-talk.

Stop judging others
The meanest critics of women are often other women. Be honest, do you sometimes make harsh judgements on women exercising? Don’t feel bad, it’s a shame you’ve been conditioned to think that way about women, and therefore yourself, but you can choose to break out of it. Instead of critiquing them, think how brilliant it is that they’re active, how much it will benefit them and those around them and allow yourself to admire and be inspired by them. Try this every time you see women exercising over the next few days and you’ll experience how much better it makes you feel about exercising yourself.

Reassess your reasons
When I promote my online fitness club and book I talk a lot about how the workouts are awesome for fat burning and sculpting sexy bodies – that’s what draws most people to start exercising. But, along the way, my members and readers discover benefits ranging far deeper than getting leaner and hotter. Although those things are great, they become more like happy by-products. It’s the way exercise makes us feel which keeps us coming back for more. Making exercise less about changing your looks and more about how it makes you feel will help you be less focused on your appearance during your workouts. Then you’ll be free to enjoy those glorious feelings of pride, strength, confidence, vigor, vitality, aliveness, relaxation, self-respect and self-love.

Get a support crew
Surround yourself with people who love to be active, whatever shape or size they are. Today it’s easy to hook up with people of whatever mindset we’re interested in engaging with via the internet. There are literally thousands of people waiting to support and encourage you and share your journey. For starters, you’re welcome to join my Fat Burn Revolution Facebook group. I'm biased of course, but if there's a more friendly, supportive and inspiring online I don't know about it! I pop by myself every day and try to answer as many posts as I can.

Show some love!
One of my favourite fitness mantras is exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it. If you have excess fat you’d like to shed, or a lack of “muscle tone” you’d like you’d like to do something about, fine. By all means get to work. But the best way to motivate yourself to achieve these changes is by appreciating how lucky you are to be able to move around and be active – there may well come a time when you can’t and you’ll surely miss the body you have now when that day comes. So, please, appreciate it, enjoy it, move it, and love it.

Are you getting fit this January? What method/tips are you using? Let me know in the comments! 

Michelle Obama wears Carolina Herrera in India


Loving the First Lady's Carolina Herrera brocade dress that she wore today at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi!

How to Winterise Your Nails


Winter is a harsh time for our hands. The biting cold wind, the rain and horrid conditions can turn our hands and nails into dry, cracked specimens- argh!

There are some great ways to combat this from happening, and Julep is saving the day with its top tips for winterising your nails!

I used the Oxygen Nail Treatment on my nails this weekend and saw an instant improvement! Bye bye horrid winter hands! I also used the Luxe Care Hand Cream as a post polish treat.

If you love to apply polish to your nails, check out Julep's great range of new colors! 

How do you care for your hands and nails during the winter months? Let me know in the comments! 

White House Week


If you watch just one thing this weekend, make sure it is President Obama's interview with YouTube stars!

New Jewels: J.Crew


You made it to the end of the week, so why not treat yourself with some new jewels from J.Crew? I am loving this Glacier necklace and Hexagonal stone ring

State of the Union 2015


Get up to date with the State of the Union and all the behind-the-scenes action!

The First Lady wore a Michael Kors tweed skirt suit, which was previously seen on screen and worn by Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) in The Good Wife!

The First Lady and Dr Biden also took part in the Twitter Mirror selfie series! Click here to see more. 

Three Things I Love About My Favourite City


Author's Own
I've been lucky to have travelled to many great places in the world- across the East Coast, Europe, UAE, Australia and New Zealand.

My first trip 'abroad' was to America in 2001. It started my love affair with the USA, and Washington D.C. is the city I find myself returning to time and time again. I interned for a Member of Congress in 2010, and this really made it my favourite city! In fact I'll be back in DC (and NYC!) later this year- #countingdownthedays

So what are my three favourite things about Washington D.C?

1. The architecture: Everywhere you look there is a spectacular building to be seen! I love the White House for its neoclassic design, and for the sense of history in each of its rooms and the grounds. Having been fortunate to visit the Executive Mansion on many occasions, I love walking around the state rooms and taking a look at the beautiful Rose Garden.

2. The museums: D.C. has a museum for everyone! The Smithsonian is can cater for every taste, from  Air and Space to American History, you could spend days getting caught up in some amazing exhibits and stories! My personal favourite? The First Ladies exhibition- the dresses and jewels are amazing. I also love the Newseum- so exciting!

3. The shopping: there are some great boutique shops in D.C., and I particularly like taking a trip to Alexandria to shop in the independent stores. Make sure you try out The Lucky Knot if you're in town!

Have you been to Washington D.C.? What do you love about it?

This post is part of Accor's 'Three Things I Love About My Favourite City' series. Find out more here. I did not receive any financial compensation for this post and all views are my own. 

5 Fashion Memoirs that inspire


A fair chunk of my bookcase is dedicated to fashion, and there's nothing more inspiring than sitting down with a memoir penned by a favourite designer or style icon.

Here are five of the best fashion memoirs that are both chic and motivating!

Grace: A Memoir: Coddington's memoir is a fascinating look into her life and her career, and the striking cover makes this a perfect book for the coffee table!

Tory Burch In Color: This is perhaps my favourite book of the last six months and one which I was waiting for forever! In Color is a great read and reference if you're interested in business, as well as finding out more about what has inspired this global success story.

The Woman I Wanted To Be: I had DvF's memoir for Christmas and it is such a fascinating read! von Furstenberg writes about her mother's survival through the Holocaust, building a successful business and helping to empower other women. This is a must read.

DV: Diana Vreeland: I love Diana Vreeland so much (I want to be like her when I grow up!) This is an absolute classic and was one of the first ever fashion memoirs I read. Unique is cool!

Happy Times: If you love the Kennedy's and the glamour of the 60s and 70s, this memoir is for you. Radziwill is one of the world's most glamourous women, and I dare you not to be inspired by the pages of amazing and personal photos in these pages.

Which fashion memoirs do you love? Let me know your recommendations in the comments! 

Dream Bags from the Vestiaire Collective Sale


White House Week


This week, President Obama traveled to the National Cybersecurity and Communications IntegrationCenter (NCCIC) in Arlington, VA to review what he'll do next to defend our nation's systems.

So here's a look at the next steps the President is taking to improve our cybersecurity standards:

The President is putting forward a legislative proposal that would enable cybersecurity information sharing in the private sector and between the private sector and government. And the proposal would also safeguard Americans’ personal privacy by requiring private entities to comply with certain privacy restrictions such as removing unnecessary personal information and taking measures to protect any personal information that must be shared in order to qualify for liability protection.

The proposal modernizes law enforcement authorities to combat cyber crime and ensure they have appropriate tools to investigate, disrupt, and prosecute cyber crime.

The Administration has also updated its proposal on security breach reporting, helping business and consumers by simplifying and standardizing the existing patchwork of 46 state laws (plus the District of Columbia and several territories) that contain these requirements into one federal statute, and putting in place a single clear and timely notice requirement to ensure that companies notify their employees and customers about security breaches.

The Department of Energy will provide $25 million in grants over the next five years to support a cybersecurity education consortium consisting of 13 HBCUs and two national labs -- part of the President’s jobs-driven training initiative -- which will help to fill the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. job market.

The President also announced that the White House will hold a summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection at Stanford University, bringing together industry, tech companies, law enforcement, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors who are specialists in this filed, and students, to ensure we develop solutions in a public and transparent way.

For further details on the plans click here. 

And the best video this week? The Big Block of Cheese Day featuring members of the West Wing cast!

Fashion Spotlight: Paul Carroll


Boston area native Paul Carroll moved to New York City for one reason - to become a designer. In the fall of 1999, Carroll introduced his first deluxe ready-to-wear collection.

Carroll’s collections feature cocktail and evening dresses in addition to beautifully tailored suits and sportswear. The designer prides himself on his commitment to quality workmanship, sumptuous fabrics, luxurious detail, and innovative design.

Creating a recognizable style and a language as a designer has been Carroll’s goal from the very beginning. Inspiration for the collections can come from anywhere; favorite films and books, a museum visit or even the streets.

Find out more about Carroll's life as a designer and what inspires him in this exclusive interview!

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? 
I don’t really consider myself a leader so much as a teacher. My studio is a teaching environment; I have people come from all over the world to work with me – from Ghana to South Korea. They come to learn, and are exposed to the full gamut of the fashion industry – from the sketch to the garment construction, to retail. What’s really wonderful about this arrangement is that it’s also a cultural exchange. I teach them how to make clothes and they teach me about their culture. It’s a worthwhile exchange, and the collaboration enriches our work.

Tell us about your business and the inspiration behind it. 
When I was 6 years old, I became fascinated with movie special effects.  I had an 8-mm. camera and developed an interest in photography, particularly black  & white photography. My interest shifted to fashion photography when I first saw “The Eyes of Laura Mars,” where Fay Dunaway plays a fashion photographer.

I started photographing my sister wearing my mom’s clothes and, when I had photographed her entire wardrobe, I began sketching the kinds of clothing I wanted to photograph. It was then that I realized I wanted to go into fashion design.

I was a big fan of Calvin Klein and I knew that he attended FIT so I applied to go there as well. I made three garments to the best of my ability for my application, and that’s where my education took off.

My own label was another goal.  I started my business in 1999 after realizing that I had a point of view that I felt I needed to be shared.

Movies inspire about 90% of my work. The other 10% comes from the world around me: art, architecture, music, and science …

What have the highlights and challenges been since you started your business?
The biggest highlight of my career was my first collection in 2000. I sold to a store on Madison Avenue and it was an overwhelming success. In my career I have also had the good fortune of working with some wonderful costume designers, including Shawn Reeves for General Hospital, Guiding Light and Another World. I’ve also had the privilege of designing dresses for the Daytime Emmys, and have had successful relationships with other daytime dramas.

The biggest challenges as a small business are the financial pressures that come from maintaining the highest standards during the construction of our two collections per year.

How do you maintain a work/life balance? 
Twice a year during collection deadlines, work consumes my life but at the end of the day, I always remember that I work to live. My husband and personal life come first.

Who would you love to see wearing your designs? 
I would love to see Sigourney Weaver, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita N’Yongo, Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman in my designs.  They are all such beautiful and stylish women.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year? 
Everything I haven’t done before!

Paul Carroll S/S 2015

5 Monogrammed Essentials


Do you love monograms as much as me? If so, get excited about the endless possibilities of items that your initials can be displayed on.

Check out my top 5 monogrammed essentials that you need in your life!

What items display your monogram? Let me know in the comments! 

Reel Style: Grace Kelly


Grace Kelly is one of my absolute favourite actresses and also one of my style icons! I remember visiting the special exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum several years, and was so excited to see some of her film costumes, hats and of course, the famous Kelly bag.

Kelly's ladylike style is an absolute classic, and these two looks are the epitome of the 'Grace Kelly look.'

Check out and follow my Pinterest board for a look at Grace Kelly's style throughout her life! 

White House Week


This week, President Obama unveiled a proposal to make two years of community college free for responsible students across America.

By 2020, an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor's degree, and 30 percent will require some college or an associate's degree. For more details on President Obama's announcement click here. 

Vice President Biden presided over the ceremonial swearing in over the 114th Congress earlier this week. Standing in the Old Senate Chamber, Vice President Biden -- who served as a senator himself for more than 30 years -- swore in senators both new and old, and met with their families. Check out his thoughts on this responsibility in the video below:

2015: Target Goals


I don't make resolutions anymore. I kept making the same, utterly obvious choices, ultimately caving in and reverting to my bad behaviour a few weeks later. Oops.

Goals is a much better word, and this year, I've decided to share them with you all.

Get in better shape. This year I'm really going all out- bye bye processed items and sugar!

Expand my business. I'm looking forward to working with a great mix of clients on some exciting projects!

A great sort-out. Closet, cupboards, drawers, bookcase... I'm determined to streamline.

Enjoying those big moments. I've got a really important trip coming up in April and I'm going to productively enjoy every minute!

Say yes (and no.) I'll be saying yes to great new opportunities, and no to any drama!

What are your goals for 2015? Let me know in the comments! 

White House Week: 2014's Best Photos


This week, the White House released their pick of the best images taken during 2014. There are some absolute great images in the mix, and here are a few more of my favorites.

Official White House Photos

Snaps from Christmas and New Year


Wow, that was Christmas! I hope you didn't blink and miss it! I had a lovely quiet Christmas with plenty of rest and relaxation- and lots of nice food! :) My Mum always does a spectacular job of decorating the house, and this year it was amazing as ever. (You can see from a few of these snaps!)

How did you spend your Christmas and New Year? Let me know!

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