Sprinkling a little supermodel powder

super elixirThe idea is meant to be simple. Instead of eating your 5 a day, you can just add a superfood fruit powder to your smoothie or juice.

But my thing is that I actually LIKE eating fruit and veg. (as well as chocolate and cakes). However, I’m curiously drawn into the marketing behind Elle MacPherson’s Super Elixir by the promise of energy. Short, dark days mixed with a new, demanding job, plus my old job and blog writing on top of those nights out to review… and that’s all before I’ve done homework hour, music practice and those hateful weekly spellings.   I’d trade more energy for anything – it’s the commodity I’d pay over the odds for.

Which is why I spent £36 on this brown packet.

special elixir


There’s value in this green magic. Alfafa, spinach, wheatgrass, pineapple, apple, goji berry, beetroot, broccoli and some ‘alkalising super greens’ don’t come cheap. But it’s actually sweet in taste, vibrant in colour and promises me no dull peeling or grating.

Macpherson and her Harley Street nutritionist Dr Simone Laubscher have joined forces in a bid to try and shift our bodies to within the perfect alkaline range. As with all things beauty, it’s the ‘beauty from within’ approach with some dedicated cellular nutrition.

So, my instructions are: two teaspoons for seven consecutive days in order to be transformed.

In short, one legal powder, a bucket load of greens and (apparently) a LOT of energy… I’ll let you know…

The Super Elixir can be purchased here.

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Olympus Pen steals Lumix thunder

I’ve always waxed lyrical about my Panasonic Lumix G6. It’s small enough to be cute and yet clever enough to be sophisticated. Pretty early on in my blogging days, this camera became a permanent fixture in my everyday handbag (although sometimes the bag increases in size to carry any number of lenses) and I have never ever thought of any need to replace/upgrade it.


@lucylevison shoot on Longboat Key beach

In case you’re not aware, all Panasonic Lumix camera bodies are compatible with all of the Olympus lens – and vice versa. So, all the while I was inextricably linked to my Lumix, I was saving up for (and purchasing) Olympus lenses.

Life of Yablon camera choices

This is my collection so far. I swap them in and out depending on my needs, often combining at least 2 for a meal review or a lifestyle/product shoot at home.

Then, at the end of last year, my lovely friend Julia, of Stylonylon fame, asked me to shoot her (for some of her posts) while we were out and about in this crazy town. And, of course, it made much more (editing) sense to use her camera than mine.

Life of Yablon camera choices

Life of Yablon camera choices

On the second occasion she was posing and I was shooting, it dawned on me. This micro-four-thirds Olympus PEN E-P5 was a massive click up from my daily snapper. Everything about it felt superior, fun, creative and … ok, a little sexier.


@m_lomnitz stunning home, Sarasota

Julia is an Olympus ambassador, so I begged and pestered her to pull a few image strings for me. My request was to borrow some Olympus kit for our trip to the island of Longboat Key over the Christmas break. Clearly, Julia succeeded and with HUGE joy I am now reporting back on this now, clearly non-returnable device! ( I can’t and won’t be parted from it.)


@buildingfeasts birthday cake

My rationale is below but – before die hard Panasonic Lumix-ers come after me – yes, on paper some of the details look very similar but… results just speak for themselves. The image colours, the ease of use, the wi-fi connection to my iPhone (so that I can edit on the hop), how incredibly responsive it is, the ridiculously handsome retro-look of the camera itself… and don’t get me started on the viewfinder and how much I ADORE it…

Of course all my existing lenses are as delighted as I am to click straight into our new toy. While the Lumix is loitering quietly in the background, refusing to comment.

Olympus Pen E-P5 at a glance:

  • 16-million-pixel, four thirds Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 (with low ISO 100 setting)
  • 3in tilt LCD touchscreen with 1.037-million-dot resolution
  • Five-axis image stabilisation
  • 60-1/8000sec shutter speed range plus live view bulb mode
  • Up to 1/320sec flash sync
  • Optional VF-4 electronic viewfinder (around £250)
  • Street price around £899* body only (Google to find best price e.g. John Lewis, Amazon or Jessops)

Of course, all camera choices are personal.  Do let me know which camera trumps others for you?  

If you are a blogger and you’re reading this with HUGE camera envy –  register here and you will be sent a discount voucher to use in Olympus’ shop.


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Should we tell the children?

How much have you told the children?’ I was asked at the end of last week as I read the front page of The Times newspaper.

I shrugged. I had managed to ensure that neither of my Smalls had heard a peep about the terrorist shooting at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. I honestly had no idea how to broach the subject.

But I wondered if I was wrong: should they know a little of this atrocity? Just to begin to understand how wrong and evil co-exist with us in this strange, sometimes disturbing world?

Listening to the radio and flicking through their weekly issue of First News, our 10 and almost 9 year old do take a healthy interest in world news. But a volcano erupting on the island of Tonga is much easier for them to grasp than these acts of terrorism. Or maybe some news items are just easier for us, as parents, to rationalize?

A positive message might have been to have told them about the million people who marched through Paris demonstrating how the world will stand united again terrorism. Or I could have focused on the importance of freedom of speech. But instead I shied away. Because there just aren’t enough answers as to why twelve innocent people had to die.

This column first appeared in The Lady where I am their Mum About Town.

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In memory of Kate Gross. Book Review: LATE FRAGMENTS

Written in December a day after I began and finished Kate Gross’ first and last novel, Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life)


Dear Kate

I feel like I know you, that perhaps I am one of the close friends you mention in your book. And I felt this way from the first page (or maybe even earlier dipping in and out of your blog), but of course I’ve never met you.  This is simply the effect your words and thoughts have had on me.

I’m actually pretty low hanging fruit, in marketing terms, for the promotion and sale of your book. Never one to be deterred by a sad tale and, similarly, always on the lookout for a true story full of moral and some life wisdom, I requested an advance copy from your publicist at William Collins so that I could read it (and review) over the Christmas break.

I promptly devoured it in about three sittings. I shed tears, but only on occasions as your story is full of joy – as you explain your life rationale. Discovering how the Nuisance (as you call it) had taken over your very existence but turning this around to highlight what you realised you really love about this world, is powerful, inspiring and curiously gladdening.

With your beyond-impressive drive and career achievements combined with refreshingly honest descriptions of marriage and motherhood, your words fully establish you a leader and influencer.  And one who deserves huge credit and respect.

Too many of us have an overwhelming fear of life being taken from us. But how can we live with the finality of death looming over us? As your tale so clearly points out, this is often an uncontrollable act and, at various crossroads of our lives, utterly inevitable. Your logically well laid plans fill me with comfort and I completely understand your desire and need to read and write (my 2 favourite pastimes) in any precious time remaining.

Thank goodness you have put your thoughts down on paper. Thank goodness you have taken the time and given us your energy. With dignity and wit, you have taken us with you to the end of your life. On behalf of all who feel like me, thank you for your inmost thoughts, for making your reader feel like your friend and for giving us this life bible.

I hope to meet you one day in another life.


Kate Gross was 36 years old when she died from colon cancer on Christmas day at her home in Cambridge. Before her cancer, Kate read English at Oxford University. She joined the civil service and worked in Number 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. On leaving, she set up the Africa Governance Initiative, a charity which works to rebuild structures of Government in post-conflict Africa. She was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her work. She blogged about her cancer at kateelizabethgross.wordpress.com and wrote there in more medical detail than she does in her book which is almost entirely free of any medical jargon or writing on the nature of cancer. It is a book instead about life. She is survived by her husband Billy and their five year old sons Isaac and Oscar. 

Kate’s book LATE FRAGMENTS is now on sale.

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