SPRING/SUMMER TRENDS VS THE CAPSULE 

Spring has sprung and it’s almost time for a switch up in the wardrobe department. Recently I’ve been a tad apathetic towards clothes and fashion. I was getting a bit sick of the more-more-more attitude and lost the fun. I’ve also found that becoming more conscious about the production of clothes weighs heavily on my mind. There was a phase where I became overwhelmed, felt powerless and then slipped into old habits; making purchases out of convenience knowing the brands probably aren’t ethical. 

To spark joy I’ve started plans for my Spring/Summer capsule. I’ve also put an end to ALL self induced guilt trips, you know reminding myself to ‘let go of guilt’ etc. So what Spring/Summer trends will make it into my capsule?

YES
Graphic stripes – I’ve recently acquired a black and yellow striped skirt of my mums to adapt. It totally ticks the graphic stripe box, otherwise I doubt I’d be investing.
Ruffles – They can look very cute and romantic, but can overwhelm a short frame. I also tend to think about how annoying they are to iron. I do however have an old white blouse with ruffles, it needs mending but would suit.
Backpack – I am a geek at heart so I already own a backpack. I have however been toying with the idea of a Fjallraven Kanken backpack for a couple of years. I just love their understated simplicity, only I can’t decide on a colour. There is also the fact that I probably don’t need another backpack..
Paper-bag waist – Yes, on high waisted shorts that I already own.
Fringe – Despite rumours that fringe was over, it may be resurfacing?…which is good because I will keep using my grey fringed handbag either way.
70s style – There is this black suede skirt I’ve been meaning to adapt and I was worried I’d missed the boat. I would also like to get a tan coloured item for a fresh update. 
Light-weight denim – Basically I will be wearing my chambray shirt for most of the summer, again.

MAYBE
The 90’s revival….only in so much as berry lips DMs, does this count?

NO
So here is a list of trends I absolutely won’t be indulging in. Most of them are completely unpractical for me. Others would be very unflattering or just look ridiculous on a petite pale gal. These include; vivid clashing colours specifically orange, slip dresses, mirrors (on clothes, apparently this is a thing?), sheer fabric, tiaras(!!), string vests, spanish influence style, flat mules and gaping sleeves.

What are your thoughts on Spring/Summer trends?

x M

SPINACH AND FETA PIE

Today I thought I would share one of my favourite recipes. Its from Jamie’s thirty minute meals, link here. I’ll be honest, these NEVER take me thirty minutes. I clearly dawdle but I can knock them out in under an hour.

My friend introduced me to this this pie and it is so delicious. It’s a perfect summery dish for when it starts warming up. See the link to the recipe for all the steps to make it.

A FEW TIPS

  • Consider using spinach from the frozen section, it tends to work out cheaper and in the pie you can’t tell the difference. This is especially useful if you can only get the fresh stuff in a few small bags, go frozen and reduce the wasted plastic.
  • Wilt the spinach and push out as much the water as you can. The eggs and lemon provide a lot of moisture. Once when I didn’t do this enough I had a soggy pie!
  • Don’t forget to heat the pie on the hob before putting it in the oven, this cooks the base to make it nice and crisp. Again, once I forgot to do this and had a soggy pie.
  • To save time and effort with the salad; combine sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle the lot in balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season to taste.

 

x M

 

FRIDAY FAVOURITES 25th MARCH

Spring is starting and Easter is just around the corner. The mornings are warming up, which certainly makes cycling more enjoyable. I’ve not got round to a spring clean, not that I’m putting it off…Time for some favourites;

Making roasted butternut squash soup! As odd as it sounds I find roasting vegetables therapeutic, is that worrying? Earlier in the week I posted my quick and easy recipe for making it, enjoy.


Transitioning into this shorter coat as the weather warms up. I still really like tan coats, the collar is removable on this one which is a bonus.

SPINACH! One of my favourite greeny things to eat. This week I’ve been munching it raw.

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Black Sails (image from here). Obsessed with Game of Thrones and Vikings? Then you’ve GOT (ha, get it?) to see this. Its a bit like Pirates of the Caribbean, but in series form so that you can binge watch it. Kiss goodbye to your weekday evenings, you are welcome!

x M

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

The first time I made this was with a friend as a hearty, yet easy lunch. I enjoyed it so much I made it again, before I’d manage to write a post on it! It’s delicious and warming, serving with a dollop of yoghurt gives it a fresh taste thats perfect for spring.

Ingredients
(Serves 4)
1 large butternut squash
5 celery sticks
2 onions
4 garlic cloves
1/2 a large medium heat chili
Paprika
Vegetable stock

 

  1. Slice the butternut squash and place in a roasting dish. For ease leave the skin on, it’s easier to removed when it’s cooked.Snap the celery sticks in half, peel the onions then slice into quarters and add both to the roasting dish. Slice the chili into large chunks before adding. The garlic can be added with the skins on, these stop them catching when rotated.
  2. Season the vegetable mix and sprinkle on paprika.
  3. Roast at 180(fan assisted, 200 if not), until the squash soft and lightly browned. In my oven this takes about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Take the skin off the squash and garlic, take care when it’s hot. Place all the vegetables in a pot.
  5. Dissolve a vegetable stock cube in 1 pint boiling water. Add half of the stock to the vegetables and blend with a handheld blender. Keep adding vegetable stock until the soup is at the consistency you like.
  6. Warm the soup on the hob before serving. Try garnishing with natural yoghurt and sunflower seeds and serve with rye toast.

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x M

REDUCING WASTED PLASTIC

Soo…lets talk about plastic, specifically the amount thats wasted…

Recently I read that there are hardly any applications for recycled plastic. One of the only things it can be made into is bumper stickers. This made sense as I remember being taught about how difficult plastic is to recycle.

Thinking about this made me VERY conscious about the amount of plastic I dispose of. Is there a huge demand for bumper stickers? Despite me always putting it for recycling (if appropriate) I’ve never been convinced that this means it gets reused. There are rumours that our carefully sorted recycling often goes to landfill anyway *cries*. Even if it does get reused, there is an energy output needed to repurpose it. To allay my huge feelings of guilt about the environmental impact of all this (poor planet earth) I’ve started reducing the amount of plastic I use.

I already tote around a refillable water bottle and reusable canvas bags. Both practices are quite commonplace, especially since we now have to pay for carrier bags in the UK. I never get the small plastic bags when buying fruit and veg, even if it seems comical to have onions and potatoes rolling around my shopping trolley. Despite this I felt I needed to do more. This means:

  1. Making more food from scratch. Most ‘ready to go’ food comes in bulky plastic containers. I cook most nights anyway and bring packed lunches, but some of my snacks come in plastic packages. I can make more of these at home and as an added bonus they’ll probably be healthier too.
  2. Buy food that does have plastic packaging. Now I don’t just choose products based on price but also on packaging, or lack thereof. The other day I brought loose peppers that were more expensive than the packaged ones to avoid the plastic bag. I’ve swapped where I get my frozen blueberries, as some seem to have double the packaging.
  3. Make swaps to products that don’t have plastic containers AT ALL. For some things, like certain hair products I’m not aware of alternatives I’m happy to swap to. *If you know any hit a girl up.* Other swaps however are more manageable. I’ve started using a bar of soap in lieu of shower gel and washing powder instead of liquid.
  4. Make your own cosmetics. Never again will I buy a body scrub in a plastic tub. I’ll made my own out of ingredients in my kitchen cupboards; sugar or oats make great bases for scrubs. The same goes for face masks.
  5. Buy products in bulk or package less. This is especially effective for dry products, I’ve heard of places you can bring the container you store things in a home.
  6. Shop locally from smaller suppliers. Often they are more accommodating to requests for less packaging. In a supermarket your meat comes in a load of plastic, end of. A local butcher however can wrap it grease proof paper instead if you ask. When the product is sourced from nearby it’s carbon footprint is smaller. Additionally you are supporting local businesses and people in your community. Win win win!

Although small these changes can really reduce the amount of plastic you waste. Now, does anyone know shops in the UK I can buy food without packages?

x M

FRIDAY FAVOURITES 11th MARCH

So you might have noticed I missed two weeks of Friday Favourites. The first week I missed because I’d been on nights and was all; I’ve done nothing but eat-work-sleep-repeat I have NOO favourites this week! The week after I had a staycation (vacation where you stay at home, its totally a thing) and was having a break from everything. Anyway, this week was a good one, heres the best bits…

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As things got back to normal round here I did a thought out food shop, which I probably find a little tooo satisfying. I brought THE most beautiful fruit and veg, so they are on here for sure.

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I’ve also discovered a new favourite breakfast…porridge and banana! Trust me. Slice the banana nice and thin, or pop the slices in the pot while it cooks and it seems to dissolve. No need for sugar etc, it tastes great AND is great for you.

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Is anyone else enjoying the different chocolate eggs out at the moment? I AM! Obviously I have to try many varieties to determine which is the best….In case you are wondering its the golden eggs and the kinder ones.

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Last but by no means least, the best part of all was Mothers Day. I took mum for afternoon tea before spending the Sunday with my entire family. It was perfect, I loved it.

Hope you all had a lovely few weeks!

x M

 

A BLACK JUMPSUIT

I’m on a mission to get wear more of my unloved clothes. Sometimes this means I rediscover something wonderful…well this jumpsuit was not one of them. It was an impulse buy, in a sale. I can see why I liked it, it nips in at my waist and at the time hareem pants were ALL the rage. Its comfortable and I thought it would get lots of wear.

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Now I dislike how baggy the trouser part is. The material is also very lightweight, too light for the UK climate really. It would be perfect for warmer days and we don’t have many of those. Each time I wear it I end up freeeeeezing, a fact I seem to keep forgetting. So when there was a hint of warmth last week this jumpsuit was what I reached for. It was too early in the year for it, despite my cardigan and coat I was cold.

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This item doesn’t suit this seasons capsule, so it is being put in storage for the summer one. If I don’t get wear out of it when it is warmer I will donate it.

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You win some, you loose some.

x M

 

SURVIVING THE NIGHT SHIFT

Every so often you will hear me moaning (sorry about that) about having to work nights. With my current job I have to do a week of them every couple of months. This has been the case for the past two years and will be for the foreseeable future. Nights are not something I enjoy at all, despite being quite good at shifting to sleeping in the day. I find these changes have a negative affect on my mood; it is a bit like having another bout of PMS, what joy! There are a few things which I’ve found to improve the shift…mainly food intake and taking breaks! Below is a basic timetable for when I’m on nights, along with some tips for getting through the shift.
MY TIMETABLE

1900 – Wake up
This is my morning, I shower, dress and get everything ready for my shift, including a lunch.
1930 – Eat
I always eat a large meal before starting my night shift, its my main meal.
2000 – Leave for work
2030 – Start work
Usually the work load is pretty intense. I eat and drink when I can, hopefully getting a ‘lunch break’ sometime around 2am.
0900 – Finish work
I immediately head home, eat breakfast and get ready for bed.
1000 – Get into bed.
Generally I read for a bit to unwind before falling asleep.

MY TOP TIPS

  • Gradually adjust your sleeping pattern. Generally I stay up really late the night before the shift, then I sleep in as late as I can the day of my first shift. On the day I finish nights I have a short nap when I get home. I tend to feel really groggy when trying to shift my pattern back to days, it’s like being jet lagged.
  • Get whoever your living with onside. Explain that you will be trying to sleep in the day, if they are conscientious it can make a huge difference!
  • Block as much light out of your bed room as possible. Get blackout blinds, hang blankets over the curtains etc. Invest in an eye-mask and earplugs. Heaven forbid your sleep is interrupted by a jolly neighbour mowing the grass!
  • Do not try to be productive in the day. Think of the day like your night and concentrate on sleep. Don’t let others think that you are ‘free’ in the day either. If working in the day would you be free at 2am? No.
  • Don’t panic if your not sleeping for long enough. Your sleep will probably be more disjointed, certainly for the first few days. If you can’t sleep well just try and rest.
  • Make your first meal a big one. When I wake up it is dinner time, so I have dinner as my first meal of the day. This may feel odd, but it will set you up for the evening well. It also means that if you get stuck without a break you won’t starve!
  • Bring a variety of snacks. I get the oddest cravings on nights, so always have a few snacks at the ready. I make them healthy, giving me no choice but the healthy option.
  • Make sure you eat enough and drink enough on shift, even if you don’t feel like it.
  • No caffeine after 5am. Some friends who have a long drive after the shift rely on the caffeine burst to get home, I find having it later stops me sleeping well.
  • Don’t nap on the night shift. Some people swear by it, I find it stops me getting a good sleep once my shift finishes.
  • Limit the amount of day light your exposed to on the way home. I have been known to wear sunglasses. Trust me it helps, it also makes you look like a film star so…
  • Eat something before going to bed. This stops me being woken by hunger, which is as horrible as it sounds.

Anyone else have to work the night shift? Any other tips?

x M

ARAN KNIT

Is anything more satisfying that a nice knitted jumper? I myself am partial to one with an Aran or Cable knit pattern, they just give off such a relaxing home-spun vibe. You can just imagine yourself all wrapped up in one, with a mug of tea!

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This particular version is from a few years ago, but Fat Face have similar. Since I have started looking into how ethical brands are, I’ve started to consider Fat Face more. Out of the many high-street options they do especially well.

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Please forgive the bags under my eyes, post nights etc..I’ll explain the hair bow, you see there was a time I was completely obsessed with them, my love for Minnie Mouse is partly responsible. I had them in every colour, I would even make them! Now and then I still feel like wearing a bow, so I just fashion them out of ribbon or a thin scarf.

x M

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FIVE STEPS TO ACE MONDAY

Isn’t it dreadful, how it’s Monday again? There are four entire days until the sweet weekend. Don’t fret, I have a plan for this evening, it’s sure to get your week off to the best start.


1. Move

I know you don’t feel like it, but trust me those endorphins will make you feel incredible. Take 20 minutes; go for a walk (or run if you are superwoman!), do some yoga, or even dance round the kitchen to the radio.

2. Cleanse

Take another 20 minutes to wash all those Monday blues away. Run a bath or give yourself an extra long shower. Use a face mask and while your at it paint your toe nails. You’ll emerge as the shiny-sassy you.

3. Eat properly

Now, don’t spend ages slaving over a stove but make something nutritious. Fill yourself with food that’s healthy and you’ll feel better for it. Make a stir fry, even if it means cheating and getting it ready chopped. Cook some extra for a packed lunch tomorrow, you are ruling this Monday!

4. Organise

Almost at the best bit, you just need to sort a few things to make the next morning easy-peasy… Choose what your wearing tomorrow and have it ready to go, then get your bag ready too because you are unstoppable!

5. Relax

The one you’ve all been waiting for, made even better because everything is sorted for tomorrow. I’ll leave it up to you to choose the best way to unwind, I’d highly recommend colouring in while watching food programs…Oh and one final thing, get yourself to bed nice and early like the rockstar you are.

x M

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