Gluten-free pancakes

Use specialist flour in these quick and easy crepes and safely cater for those on a gluten-free diet.


  • 125 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml milk
  • butter, for frying


  1. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle and pour in a quarter of the milk. Use an electric or balloon whisk to thoroughly combine the mixture. Once you have a paste, mix in another quarter and once lump free, mix in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 mins. Stir again before using.
  2. Heat a small non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter. When the butter starts to foam, pour a small amount of the mixture into the pan and swirl around to coat the base – you want a thin layer. Cook for a few mins until golden brown on the bottom, then turn over and cook until golden on the the other side. Repeat until you have used all the mixture, stirring the mixture between pancakes and adding more butter for frying as necessary.
  3. Serve with agave syrup and a squeeze of orange juice or your pancake filling of choice.

Haute Couture Jewelry Report: A New Generation Alights

In the wake of big anniversary celebrations at heritage houses like Boucheron, De Beers, and Cartier, this year marks yet more milestones in the world of high jewelry, with Buccellati fêting its 100th birthday and Piaget its 145th.

Even so, all eyes were on the newcomer to the Place Vendôme: Gucci stepped into the arena with (what else?) a spirited mash-up of styles and stones. Elsewhere, Louis Vuitton staged a comeback of sorts, and a scattering of indies held small but strong showings. The major takeaways: desert-inspired colors, a lashing of humble minerals not ordinarily associated with high jewelry, and a renaissance for the pear cut. Here, some of the season’s major statements.



Photo: Courtesy of Gucci


The house’s first-ever high jewelry collection is called Hortus Deliciarum—a Garden of Delights—after a 12th-century illuminated manuscript. Still, the 200-piece showing was above all an of-this-moment salute to magpie maximalism, neatly reprising Alessandro Michele’s signatures in stones assembled in a riot of flora, fauna, and classic symbols of love like Cupid’s arrow.



Photo: Courtesy of Cartier


Cartier staged a mash-up of its own, pairing diamonds and emeralds with rutilated quartz, sapphires, opals, pink diamonds, and morganite. Here: the Magnitude necklace with 107-plus carats of Mozambique ruby beads mixed with cabochon rubies, watercolor tourmalines, turquoise amazonites, onyx, and diamonds.



Photo: Courtesy of Boucheron


The first house to set up on the Place Vendôme used its perch in its newly revamped flagship to offer a collection called Paris As Seen From #26. Several pieces saluted the shape of the Place itself, including the Duo ring with two emerald-cut beryls weighing over 31 carats each, diamond pavé, and black lacquer.

Ana Khouri

Ana Khouri

Photo: Courtesy of Ana Khouri

Ana Khouri

Reconnecting with nature and tapping into its mystery was an oft-cited inspiration on the runway. A sculptor by training, the indie designer Ana Khouri weighed in on the “interconnectedness of things” with these responsibly sourced, fair-trade diamond and pear-cut emerald creeper earrings: “My work is a way for me to communicate harmony, knowing my place in the world and being present to that,” she said.

De Beers

De Beers

Photo: Courtesy of De Beers

De Beers

A collection called Portraits of Nature was the largest De Beers has shown to date, and it centered on a play of color and texture. As its name suggests, the Knysna Chameleon necklace is a shade-shifter: The double row of tonal rough diamonds around the white baguette diamond necklace can be removed, as can the tassel with a five-carat pear-cut diamond drop.



Photo: Courtesy of Dauphin


Charlotte Dauphin de la Rochefoucauld is celebrating her house’s fifth anniversary by revisiting the classics, venturing into emeralds, and keeping it personal. “I was thinking about pieces that have many lives, that you pass from one generation to the next,” she told Vogue about the collection she presented in her family’s hôtel particulier. Though generally at home with rigorous lines, the designer paired those with diamond parabolas on the earrings shown exclusively here.



Photo: Courtesy of Buccellati


The Italian house celebrated its centenary with new takes on house signatures including the Gotico cuff—a tribute to the rosettes found in Gothic cathedrals, in white and yellow gold with 249 diamonds—and the Cnosso pendant, a labyrinthine motif with, at its center, a diamond in the newly developed “Buccellati cut,” which, like the modern round brilliant diamond, has 57 facets.



Photo: Courtesy of Messika


The contemporary fine jewelry brand Messika presented a sophomore outing called Born to be Wild—an anything-but-tame lineup primarily in white and yellow diamonds. One statement maker: the Fire Diamonds ear cuff with eight fancy yellow cushion-cut diamonds.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Finally, after two seasons of suspense, Louis Vuitton revealed the first high jewelry collection by Francesca Amfitheatrof, its new artistic director for jewelry and watches. The Riders of the Knights collection looked to medieval times, mining its heraldry, characters, and codes for modern-day “armor.”

Anna Hu

Anna Hu

Photo: Courtesy of Anna Hu

Anna Hu

A classical cellist turned jewelry designer, Anna Hu unveiled a collection called Silk Road Music, which features a transformable necklace with a whopping 100-carat fancy yellow diamond, one of the largest diamonds in the world. Her Rachmaninov bracelet, shown here, features diamonds, sapphires, tourmalines, garnets, tsavorites, spinel, and ruby in some 20 iterations—for a total of 1,361 stones in all.



Photo: Courtesy of Piaget


For its 145th anniversary, Piaget presented the desert-inspired Golden Oasis collection headlined by the Golden Hour necklace, which is set with a 6.63-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond surrounded by 102 marquise-cut yellow and white diamonds and a further 139 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels

Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels

Benjamin Millepied’s contemporary adaptation of Romeo and Juliet was the cue for a jewelry collection that, in addition to the figurative pieces for which the house is renowned, nods to other influences, Picasso among them. The Lovers’ Path bracelet is anchored by three very rare Colombian emeralds, and the Kiss on the Balcony earrings star rubies and diamonds, plus removable pendants.

A ‘confidence code’ for girls: 5 ways to build up our daughters

If there’s one quality I want my girls to have more than any other, it is confidence.

I’ve seen how important it is in the workplace and in life: Confident people get what they want. They take risks. They are not afraid of failure.
Growing up as a perfectionist, somewhat fearful of both failure and success, I wish I had the confidence in my teens and early 20s that I have now.
For all these reasons, I was thrilled when one of my daughters, during the first grade, had to name five words to describe herself. Confident was on her list. I thought then and still think now, “What can I do to make sure she feels that way when she is a teenager?”
Journalist, author and speaker Claire Shipman has some answers. In 2014, she and her co-author, Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News America, published “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know.”
The book resonated deeply with women and quickly became a bestseller.
As Shipman and Kay traveled the country to speak about the book, one of the most common questions they would get was from parents, women and men, who were concerned about their daughters.
” ‘What about my daughter? I see this in my daughter,’ ” Shipman said they would say. “It was just this huge focus on young women and girls. ‘What can I be doing with my girls, because I already see she’s not this. She’s experiencing that.’ “
Shipman, who spent a decade at CNN as a White House and international correspondent in the 1990s, said she and Kay did some research and found that there were plenty of books on the topic for parents but not as many specifically written for girls. So they decided to write one for girls in middle school, although it is applicable for girls up through high school, Shipman says.
In “The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self,” Shipman and Kay use graphic novel illustrations, quizzes, checklists and real stories from girls to try to make the topic accessible and relatable.
They also commissioned an online poll, which backs up what other research has shown.
Between the ages of 8 and 14, girls’ confidence drops by 30%, according to the survey of nearly 1,400 8- to 18-year-olds and their parents and guardians. The survey also found that three out of four teen girls worry about failing,
“We were surprised at how quickly, how deep that drop is,” Shipman said. “And especially because right until age 8, there’s really no difference in confidence levels.”
So how do we stop this troubling trend?
I asked Shipman, a mom of two, for some advice — advice she said she’s using with her 13-year-old daughter, with good results.

1. Help her get outside her comfort zone and take risks.

One of the most important things we can do as parents of daughters, Shipman said, is to help them get “comfortable being uncomfortable.” Shipman said she and Kay feel that if they do nothing else in this book but get girls to walk away and understand that it’s cool to take risks, they will have succeeded.
As for how to do that, a parent can talk to their daughter about how they approach a risk and some of the ways they can support themselves. “It’s kind of counterintuitive, but just telling yourself ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be afraid of this’ or ‘there’s nothing scary about it’ or ‘fake it until you make it,’ that doesn’t actually help. Risks can be scary,” Shipman said.
So encourage your daughter and tell her, “Yes, it’s normal to feel afraid. This is a little frightening, but tell yourself ‘I’m just going to do it afraid. I’m just going to do it anyway,’ ” Shipman said.

2. Have her keep a list of risks.

Having your daughter keep a list of the risks she has taken and how she worked through them can be a reminder of what she is capable of, Shipman said. The same holds true for failures: Listing their failures and how they tackled them can be incredibly empowering.
Also, have them keep a list of some stock phrases that they can tell themselves when they are in a bit of a frightening situation, such as “I’ve done something like this before. I can do it. I’ve got it.”

3. Remind her of ‘failure fixes.’

Our girls need to know that failure will undoubtedly happen and that it’s not something they can avoid. But knowing how to deal with it can help. “We all need a cheat sheet to failure,” Shipman and Kay write.
They offer a list of 10 “failure fixes” such as “change the channel.” Encourage your daughter to do anything that helps her get in a better place, whether that is reading a book, watching TV, listening to music or cuddling with a family pet. This will help distract her from what’s happened and help her stop thinking about it over and over again.
Another fix is putting it in perspective. Shipman talks about an idea she and Kay heard from a middle school counselor, which she called a “virtual hot air balloon ride.” Help your daughter envision herself up in the sky with the clouds and looking down at the situation that happened. “First, that lets her kind of literally put it in perspective, like, ‘Wow, look, other things are going on,’ and then see it from a different angle and talk about it that way.”
Trying to keep a sense of humor is also key. Of course, this is not easy when your daughter is melting down after what she considers the biggest failure of her life. But try to help her see that it could be much worse. “Thoughts like ‘at least I didn’t forget to put on pants and go to school naked after our roof caved in’ … can remind you that it really could be worse!” they write.

4. Role model failure and struggle.

One of the more surprising results (at least to me) from the poll Shipman and Kay commissioned is that fathers seem to be better at recognizing a lack of confidence in their daughters than mothers: They were found to be 26% more likely to accurately estimate their child’s confidence than moms were.
How could that be? Aren’t mothers supposed to be the more intuitive parents? But as Shipman did her research, she found that mothers perhaps don’t see their daughters’ behavior as unusual.
“Perfectionism or worry about this or that, or sort of reticence to raise your hand, that’s recognizable to us,” Shipman said. “Even if instinctively we know it’s wrong, it doesn’t seem odd, because we’ve probably experienced it. We may still do it, whereas I think fathers, who do have incredibly high expectations for their daughters, would be (saying) ‘What is going on with my 9-year-old? Why was she this way a year ago, and now she’s thinking she can’t do anything?’ They find it genuinely strange.”
The takeaway is how influential role modeling can be for our kids. Let them see us, especially mothers, dealing with failure and struggle and taking risks.
“If we’re going on, ‘I’m so worried about this. I have to get it right,’ it doesn’t help them,” Shipman said. She’s tried to take this advice even more with her teenage daughter and “lift the veil a little bit.”
When she’s upset about something, for instance, such as having to rewrite a few chapters for a book, she lets her daughter see how she’s feeling and then raises the question whether she’s overreacting and figures out how she’s going to deal with it — all in front of her daughter.

5. Remind her she doesn’t have a problem.

With all the talk about girls and confidence, it’s important to make it clear to our girls that it’s not like they have a problem that needs to be fixed, Shipman said. Girls are the way they are for a host of reasons, including nature (brain biology) and nurture (society’s different expectations for girls and boys.) They also often have a higher level of emotional intelligence.
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“It’s not like we want to churn out a bunch of girls who operate like boys,” Shipman said. “I think it would be wonderful for young women to understand much earlier on, essentially, the world doesn’t operate like school.”
Helping girls understand at young ages what skills will be important later in life is key, including the ability to advocate for themselves and not worry about being people pleasers, Shipman said.
“Girls, even when they speak up in class or whatever it is, they want to please people, so I feel like the next hurdle is for girls to understand that they will not always please people. People won’t always like them,” Shipman said. “And when they speak up, some people will like what they say, and others won’t, and how do they develop that armor so that they say ‘but that’s OK, because I’m me.’ “

8 Self-Improvement Books to Devour This Summer

As you’ve likely noticed from the recent increase in bathing suit ads and airline “Wanna Get Away?” emails, summer is upon us. And while many of us longingly daydream about the obligation-less days of summer break from our youth, summer as an adult doesn’t have to be a complete wash. For starters, we have more daylight hours to play with, and contrary to popular belief, a “summer bod” is not the only way to improve yourself this season.

At the pleasant risk of sounding a lot like Oprah, I can’t imagine the person I would have become if I didn’t have books in my life. Reading other’s stories, and in writing my own, has transported me into the shoes of so many others who are often wiser, kinder, smarter, funnier than me. And I’ve found when you have the chance to test run upgraded shoes, it has a curious way of inspiring you to rise to the occasion.

When it comes to personal development, there’s no better season to dive in than the present.

To supplement your staycations and highly recommended poolside lounging, below is a collection of self-improvement books to help you put your best foot, or sandal, forward:

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama gets incredibly honest about everything from not knowing where your passions lie, to taking a chance on love (even when the whole world is watching), and how to stand firm in your determination to make the world a better place. She inspires readers to be the best version of themselves by leading with vulnerability.

Favorite quote: “Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.”

Who will enjoy this: Anyone who has only brothers, or always wanted an older sister, or has an older sister but wishes that older sister were Michelle Obama.

self-improvement books2. Wholehearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up by Koshin Paley Ellison

With a refreshing and surprisingly relatable style considering Koshin Paley Ellison is in fact a monk (monks, they’re just like us!)this book teaches you how to expand outward. Ellison uses a blend of the 16 teachings of Buddhism, Western Psychology and his personal life experiences to help readers learn to break down the walls we build around ourselves that distance us from connecting with others (and ourselves), and wake up to the world around us to truly live wholehearted.

Favorite quote: “People are afraid of—and paradoxically long for—honest, loving and ordinary conversation.”

This book feels like: A warm cup of hot cocoa, with extra marshmallows, and a fire crackling in the background.

3. Stop Doing That Sh*t: End Self-Sabotage and Demand Your Life Back by Gary John Bishop

You may think you don’t self-sabotage. But Bishop breaks down how even the smallest “I’ll go to the gym… tomorrow” affects your success in the long run. This is a short, intense jolt to your way of thinking that tells it straight, because our futures don’t have time for sugarcoating. Bishop helps readers get in touch with their individual psychological machinery to nip negative thoughts and behavior in the bud and build new thinking patterns that allow readers to find success in the areas previously inaccessible due to all the sh*t in the way.

Favorite quote: “On one hand you talk about wanting to be an author or a business owner or going back to school, while at the same time you’ve reduced your life’s potential to the lofty aim of getting up at the first alarm buzz or fighting the meaningless battle if prizing yourself away from your cell phone a little more often… You just can’t keep responding in ordinary ways if you are truly out to live an extraordinary life.”

This book is akin to: Your no-bullsh*t older brother having a heart-to-heart with you over a scotch at midnight. You’ll laugh, you may cry, but at the end of the night, you’ll be better for it.

4. The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives by Katie Couric

What began as a collection of advice for a commencement speech turned into a thoughtful curation of advice from some of the most successful people in today’s society. Katie Couric interviews people in politics, entertainment, sports, philanthropy, the arts and business—and shares their insights on how to take chances, follow your passions, cope with criticism and, perhaps most important, commit to something greater than ourselves. Plus, all of the proceeds from this book are donated to Scholarship America, which helps ambitious students graduate from college and realize their full potential.

Favorite quote: “Very few of us get through this life unscathed. Scratch beneath a stranger’s surface and you’re likely to uncover professional setbacks, broken hearts, unspeakable loss, unfulfilled dreams, or worse. Everyone seems to keep going but, God knows, navigating through it all isn’t easy.”

This book is similar to: Chicken Soup for the Soul, but business casual.

5. Work Wife by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur

These pages are practically brimming with girl power. Cerulo and Mazur speak with work wives who’ve created thriving businesses across a myriad of fields and demonstrate how empowered female friendships can run the business world. The book dives into a range of topics vital to successful partnerships, such as being co-bosses, tackling disagreements, dealing with money and accommodating motherhood and leaves readers with a roadmap to fruitful work wife relationships in business. #YouCanSitWithUs

Favorite quote: “The unfortunate fact of the matter is that as women we have a rougher go of it in the workplace—whether on a Hollywood set or a cubicle—and, for all of the camaraderie and mind-melding benefits, being part of a pair also serves as a defense mechanism. Being able to turn to someone and say ‘Am I crazy?’ is a boon because women are made to question their own sanity all the time.”

Best time to read this book: With a bottle of Merlot and your best gal pals on FaceTime.

self-improvement books6. Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life by Humble the Poet

This book is centered around the idea that we gain more from letting go, and as someone who recently moved cities and purged all of the extra crap I’d managed to hide in the corners of my closet, I can personally attest to this notion. Humble the Poet breaks down some of life’s most complex emotions into simple, bite-sized truths. Change can be overwhelming, but not when you’re only focused on making moves one step at a time. The lessons are short, relatable and remind you that not everything in life has to be so complicated, Avril.

Favorite quote: “Get out there. Be uncomfortable. Make mistakes. Get embarrassed. We’ll all be dead soon, it’s not a big deal.”

Who will benefit most: Hoarders (emotional baggage counts, too)

7. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay, PhD

Dr. Meg Jay explains over the course of 239 pages why the “30-is-the-new-20” culture is complete rubbish and how you can use your 20s to propel your future in a direction you’re passionate about. Jay weaves the latest science with stories from 20-somethings and provides actionable steps to create identity capital and make the most of your “defining decade.” This should be required reading for every 20-something.

Favorite quote: Dr. Meg Jay’s entire TED Talk on the topic, here.

Guaranteed to: Make every 20-something think twice before swiping right.

8. Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom

A memoir, this novel chronicles a series of weekly visits Albom made to his former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz, as Schwartz gradually loses his life to ALS. Their bond is beautifully honest and reminds readers how human connection is at the core of a fulfilled life. In his final weeks, Morrie unloads some hard-won nuggets of wisdom on what happiness is and how to ensure your life is a life worth living.

Favorite quote: “As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty- two, you’d always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”

Some friendly advice: If you’re a crier, have tissues nearby.