Sort It Out: Creating A Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule Wardrobe

Wardrobes can be frightening places if we let them. Sure, they’re just there to store your clothes, shoes, hats etc. But let’s be real, they’re so much more. Your wardrobe is the place you go first thing in the morning to choose what image you’re going to put out to the world. It’s the place where you know you’re comfy pj’s are waiting at the end of the long day. Or THAT dress when you’re getting ready to hit the town. Your wardrobe is – like your home and all of your possessions really – a reflection of how you view yourself. And at times we can look at our wardrobes with feelings of shame,disgust and – my personal favorite – crippling indecisiveness (this happens to me about once a month, ladies, you know). So what has my wardrobe been reflecting lately? Well, until recently, if you looked at my wardrobe, Brenda Fricker in Home Alone 2 probably would have sprung to mind.

When I got home after New Years I knew I’d need to do something out the carnage – two trips away in as many weeks will do that – and that’s when I came across this whole capsule wardrobe trend. I’m not an expert on storage management of course ( and I’m sure there are plenty of these knowledgeable people) but I got the following gist from reading this post:

  1. What is a Capsule Wardrobe? It’s simply a wardrobe which contains only the items of clothes you wear on a daily or weekly basis.
  2. Where do the other clothes go? You sort your clothes into 3 piles: clothes you wear all of the time, clothes you only wear seasonally and clothes that you never wear (these are for charity or if unwearable, the bin)
  3. But…how do I decide which clothes I regularly wear? I can barely decide what to wear to work! Be ruthless. If you haven’t worn it in 2 weeks, you don’t wear it regularly in my book. I didn’t include shoes, PJs or sportswear in my cleanse but it very quickly became clear which clothes just should not be in my home any more.

So I took an hour out of my weekend, dumped the contents of my wardrobe on the floor, blasted some Justin Bieber (I’m not even sorry) and sorted all of my clothes out. I came out with one bag of seasonal stuff and two whole bags for charity!

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That was 3 weeks ago. Since then I’ve made the following observations:

  • It takes me less time to get ready in the morning.
  • I like what I’m wearing more because the only clothes available to me are clothes that I regularly wear and definitely adhere to my style.
  • My wardrobe has stayed neat and organised because I feel more neat and organised!
  • I feel like I really know what I need to add to my wardrobe now that I’ve gotten rid of all of the clutter.
  • I generally feel that bit more positive because that’s one aspect of my life that I just feel on top of!

I know I usually post about health and fitness here but this is one change I’ve made recently that I thought was well worth sharing. So, if your wardrobe is getting out of control (or maybe it’s your kitchen cupboards, or your bathroom press etc.) capsule that sh**!

And have a lovely Sunday!

Lovely Life of Earth

 

Saturday morning started off with a big disappointment for me. I’d been in touch with the lovely people at New Lanark about paying a visit to the world heritage site there and much loved Christmas Experience event that they put on every year. It was to start off what has now become a very busy build up to Christmas for me before I skip off to Dublin to spend the holidays with my family. But when Saturday dawned with high winds battering my building and as we heard on the radio “too many road closures to mention”, it was quickly decided that the trip to New Lanark was just not going to be a possibility . Which was a real shame. However, to salvage the morning myself and the girls went for a little breakfast instead and my eyes were opened to a new gem in Glasgow…

Bakery 47

I’m always the last to know when it comes to trendy new places so most people living in the South Side of Glasgow are likely aware of the little treasure that is Bakery 47. But I just found out so I’ll tell you anyway! This is a gorgeous, bakery and cafe with a small but delicious and reasonably priced menu. They sell all manor of cakes and bread but like any good bakery I could see that if you want to get what you need you’d better get in early. At around 11:30 when we were ready to leave I could see a bit of a queue gathering – clearly this place is loved among the locals. I had a beautiful warm mince pie with almonds and vanilla cream. The pasty was melt in the mouth and a little bit flaky which made it perfectly light. And while no mince filling will compare to my mum’s homemade fare Bakery 47s was pretty close. Even more than the mouthwatering food though, the service there was fantastic – you can tell that there is a lot of love behind that little spot and I had a lovely time there.

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Back to the Gym

While I’ve clearly been sampling the plenty of festive food, I’ve been working out more this week than I have over the last couple. This is a massive cop out but the poor weather has been putting me off running. At the end of the day, I have a demanding full time job and while I’d love to get up at 5am and run, my body clock just doesn’t work that way even though I wish it did. While I find running a great way to unwind, getting soaked and blown about the place and risking a fall just isn’t what I’d call a relaxing end to my day! Yoga and home exercise just weren’t cutting it so I’ve joined a local gym. And I love it (yes, I am one of those sad people who likes gyms). It’s good to have the option of classes again too. Although on Monday I went to an abs class and forgot my water bottle like a total chump – seriously, running sweatily over to the water fountain during the much needed rest periods was a nightmare. Lesson learned!

 

Books

Living well is as much about diet as it is exercise and I’ve been trying a few recipes from Madeline Shaw’s book Get the Glow. There are some nice simple meals in here like the spiced salmon and cucumber, and the almond pancakes which I made for my parents last week on their visit. The chia pudding has also been a breakfast staple for me over the last while. However, as you can probably tell from my bakery trip, I’m merely dabbling in Madeline’s healthy diet as I’m not in a position to fully commit to it just now. If I’m honest, the premise of the book is great but if you’re a person who incorporates regular cardio workouts into your regime – which I think people really should if they can – I don’t think that sticking to her diet is actually possible. For me, delicious and skin clearing as it is, I just don’t feel like it gives the carbohydrates and energy I’d need regular meaningful workouts. For brekky, smoothies and ideas though it’s great to have on hand.

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I went on a little Waterstones binge last week and as a minor sci fi and general space geek, Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth caught my roving eye pretty quickly. Reading about life in space is fascinating but even more so is how a person gets there in the first place. The drive, ambition and preparation that goes into a life’s work of making an aspiration a reality was both inspiring and encouraging to read. I particularly love his philosophy on being prepared for every eventuality and the way he rubbishes positive thinking alone as a means of getting what you want. There’s a saturation of “inspirational” people out there who, for the life of me I just can’t figure out why people think they’re inspiring. It’s refreshing to read about someone who has worked hard for success that is not only personal but used to educate and benefit everyone. Give this one a read!

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Like Chris Hadfield I want to make the most out of the time I have and make it count. So rather than letting the crappy weather get me down (much) I’m in the gym, eating cakes (sorry Madeline) and of course getting into the festive spirit. Take that Scottish weather!

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The excitement of putting up our first tree!

Jen

Four Reasons to be Cheerful

Saturday, for me had to be a day to switch off. It was one of those classic November days in Glasgow where the rain is pouring down and while the juxtaposition of the orange leaves and the gray sky is pleasing to the eye, it’s not actually weather that you want to be out in if you can avoid it. So I totally avoided it!

I find it pretty hard to sit about and do nothing for a day but I needed this. The last week has been packed with things to do and I needed a day to just chill out.

I had to take a rest week from exercise this week because I was getting over a cold and I’m glad I just focused on Yoga and stretching rather than doing any cardio. Taking a day off on Saturday was a good chance to reflect too on what I’m thankful for this week:

Fireworks and Fun: So one of my favorite things about living in Scotland is that not only do we have Halloween, there’s also Guy Fawkes! I love the fireworks and this year I went to see the big display in Glasgow Green. I’ve done this every year since I moved here and it’s become a tradition now. This time me, Chris and my friend Naomi went to West Brewery for mouthwatering outdoor burgers and beer (well, hot chocolate for me – I had an early start for an event the next day). I had some friends over to the flat last week for Halloween and even though I was getting over a cold it was such a fun night. The girls and I dressed up as trolls and we danced the night away. It was the most effort and make up that I have possibly ever worn but we truly felt like magical creatures! I was pretty reluctant to take my wig off at the end of the night if truth be told!

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A Day in the Snow: I organised a work event at the indoor slopes in Braehead and it was a great day out. As with any event there was a huge amount of preparation in the lead up to it but it was a pleasure to get 70 people out of the office and onto the slopes. Seeing a day come together like that is always really rewarding and while the lead up was exhausting – I was up till all hours the night before making last minute edits to the presentations and doing arts and crafts! – it’s just worth it every time in the end. I feel very lucky to be able to do things like this in my job.

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Narcos: I am obsessed with this show on Netflix. Narcos is based in late 1980’s Columbia during the war on drug baron’s and the rise of Pablo Escobar. If gritty drama, intelligent scripts, history and subtitles are your thing, check this one out!

Crafting: Okay, I’m a self confessed Winter hater but these cold evenings in are starting to grow on me a bit. I’ve been a bit more creative around the house have started recycling old jars for storage and adding a few little touches to brighten the place up a bit. My two friends and I have been getting together for little craft nights and it’s been a lovely way to spend a dark weeknight. It’s nice to have some homemade comforts around the house and while I’m definitely not an artist or really remotely talented when it comes to crafting I like having some pieces that are just my own little concoctions! Plus creativity, friends and wine are always a winner in my book.

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Book perfectionists look away now!
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So I cannot take credit for the hand knit stag cushion you see before you. My friend in the US sent this ti me as a housewarming gift and I absolutely love it. I just wanted to show it here because I'm so proud to have something so unique in my home. While I'll never have this level of talent she's definitely inspired me to be a bit more creative!

So these were the little things I was thankful for this week.

Are you a crafting novice like me? Do you have any recommendations for good series right now – because I’m getting through Narcos at an alarming rate -?

Sunday Post – Mini Marathon and Time In Dublin

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I was thinking of the best way to describe the last week and a bit and had to stop for a few minutes to think! Not because I’m sipping wine again while I post – I swear – but I’ve been thinking of how best to describe something that has been both relaxing and active, busy and calm all at once.

All things considered: it has been an invigorating past week and a bit!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen numerous pictures of Guinness and other Irish things which could only mean one thing: I was back in my hometown of Dublin for a few days! Catching up with my friends and family was just what I needed. My sister is sitting her final secondary school exams.  It was great to be home and spending some time with her and my family because I know what a stressful time it is, and if anyone has worked hard, it’s her!

I also had the pleasure of bringing my friend Beth around Dublin. I met Beth in Glasgow when I first moved here and although she has moved back to her home in Cornwall, we’ve stayed in touch. It was so lovely to see her and to bring her around Dublin for the first time. Of course I also got to see my old friends Eily, Lesley and Eimear. Time is always so limited but even a few hours with old friends can be just what the doctor ordered.

But it wasn’t all fun and games. Beth and I were on a mission! With Eily, we were running the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon on Bank holiday Monday.

It’s at this point that I will mention that Beth is an incredible runner. She ran a 15 mile trail race with me last year in 2 hours and she trains a group of girls at home. So naturally she was put in with the Elites at the Mini Marathon while I was hanging in the runners section! But how could I feel alone with the thousands of woman of all ages all around me? Even though the weather could only be described as dire (my parents actually came into town with dry clothes for Beth and I) it was, once again a great event to be part of. I have run the Mini Marathon in Dublin for the past 3 years and whole-heartedly want to continue that tradition. The Mini Marathon was the first race I had ever done so it’s always nice to go back to where it all began.

I flew home on Tuesday and had a very productive day off on Wednesday. So now I am back in Glasgow, feeling super invigorated and putting some exciting plans together for the next few months. First on my list: get to the 2 hour half marathon I promised myself at the start of the year (we’re half way through already!), marathon next year? Who knows?

How has your week been?