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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
1. Help her get outside her comfort zone and take risks.
2. Have her keep a list of risks.
3. Remind her of ‘failure fixes.’
4. Role model failure and struggle.
5. Remind her she doesn’t have a problem.
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.
2. 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.
6. 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.
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.