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!

Fit Not Fed Up: Motivation for the Festive Season

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Brrr! December is certainly living up to it’s seasonal reputation – it feels like I’ve been in a permanent state of wet feet and red nose for weeks! Not only this but with all of the festive merriment going on, our health and fitness priorities have a little habit of going out the window don’t they? I’ve been thinking about what’s been keeping me motivated lately and thought I’d share it here.

Get Yourself a Buddy: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, having a partner in crime is a must if you feel your will power slacking. I recently joined the same gym as one of my friends. Having someone there who to laugh through the pain of Pure Abs with made the torturous nature of side crunches just that bit more bearable. Even if we’re not going at the same time, it’s good to be around people are are pushing toward similar goals to you. So look at who’s around you and encourage each other in these dark days of Winter!

Do Something For a Good Cause: There are tons of sponsored walks, runs, hikes, swims and dives at this time of year for so many good causes. Although Winter events tend to have a higher risk of cancellation – which myself and Chris fell victim to a couple of weeks ago when our BHF 10k was cancelled due to course flooding- when they do go ahead it’s a great day out. I ran the Glasgow Santa Dash 5k in aid of the Prince and Princess of Wales Trust Glasgow 2 weeks ago. It was a fantastic event with Santas of all ages – and a couple of dogs disguised as Reindeer – running through the streets of Glasgow on what was a beautiful mid Winter’s day. With all of the parties and days out this season, you could do worse than having a day out in the fresh air planned where you can meet people and generally have a bit of good clean fun. It’s great for the body, soul and you’re helping someone who needs it!
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You Don’t Need To Party All Night: I love a good night out but with the sheer amount of Christmas festivities right now I’m finding it impossible to have a late one every time! When I went out the pantomime last week it was a great night but I decided to take the last train home instead of face the queues in the cold for a taxi later. Committing yourself to public transport or a lift home may not be as glamorous but for some reason I enjoy the night more when I do it! Plus you can get a cheeky hot chocolate on the way back too if you’re hear a late opening Greggs too! Win win .
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If You See Some Good Weather…Go!:
Beautiful days can be few and far between so if you see one get the runners or walking boots on! Even in the depths of Winter nature is beautiful especially covered in frost and lit by pale sunlight. Dress warmly and make sure your footwear has good grip. It my be an antiquated notion and I do think gyms are great but you can’t beat some fresh air especially in these dark days.

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Caffeine Free: 6 Months On

Caffeine Free Girl- 4 Months On (2)

Good morning! You know I write my posts in advance but I can safely predict that by now I’ll have jumped out of bed in my minion pjs and headed straight for my Peppa Pig advent calendar (random purchase from the other half) for a little pre brekky chocolate. Yep, we’re definitely into the festive season! This is a time of year to indulge, treat yo’ self, and live for the moment.

So why am I writing about how I gave something up?

Well, I figured that this is just the time to have some real talk about sticking to your guns without actually denying yourself the little pleasures in life.

Way back in  July – ah July, remember the sun? Or more appropriately: slightly warmer rain? – I took the decision to cut caffeine out of my diet entirely. There were a number of reasons for this which I posted about here. I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to stick with it since then. But it wasn’t easy. Just to confirm, when I say I gave up caffeine I mean that I gave up drinks with high caffeine content: regular tea, coffee and cola. I’m not strict enough to cut out coffee flavored things or to remove things like green tea from my diet which has a very low caffeine content.

Unfortunately I can’t say that I had a trick or great cheat for giving it up. I had to just use my will power. It was bloody hard at times if I’m honest. I found that the most helpful thing was to be kind to myself. Treating myself to a little hot chocolate on the way into work, and getting some really good herbal teas made substituting coffee and tea and thing of luxury. Sure a box of fancy tea is more expensive than the regular stuff but hey, I was making a saving on coffees on a daily basis, so why not? Having some healthy snacks in my bag like bananas and oranges were another handy way of keeping my energy up without coffee and tea.

The thing about giving up caffeine is that, at first you think you’ll be exhausted forever. The fact is, after a couple of weeks my sleeping pattern had normalised. I was sleeping in a meaningful way and I’m more rested and alert in the mornings now. With the amount of dairy and sugar I was removing from my daily intake, my skin began to improve. I started to feel like I had more energy. Real energy from real food and not an artificial boost. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that coffee is the devil or anything. It just wasn’t working for me and I’m a lot happier and healthier without it.

If you’re coming into the festive season and are worrying about losing sight of your commitments, don’t. You might not be tempted, or you might have a moment of weakness. My advice is that if you want to indulge yourself do it with something you’ll really enjoy. For me, that means not feeling guilty later. So if you are cutting something out, just be honest about what’s achievable for you, remember to try and if you do over indulge, forgive yourself!

We’re only human after all.

 

Go For It: Crafting

I’ve associated crafting with taking a step backwards for a long time. Think about it, when you read the word, did you automatically think of being back at school, or something you did with your mum or nana? Going deeper, I actually just associated it with an antiquated way of thinking. Pfft women crafting, go back to the fifties! The truth is though, quite a lot of my friends are wonderfully creative knitters, sewers, origamists (no, that cannot be a word) and one is particularly talented at making fantastic creations out of Tunnocks tea cake wrappers! All educated, intelligent hard working women who love to craft. So over the past few months I’ve gotten down off of my high horse and given it a go.

What I’ve found is that taking an old jar and making a new use for it, or going for a long walk with your friends to collect some Autumn leaves to press is relaxing and fun but also feels kind of productive. It’s just a pleasure to see something you actually made around the house and know that it’s completely unique to you!

For me, my favourite thing about crafting is the social aspect. Two of my friends and I meet for craft and wine nights and solve the problems of the world over some good food and felt. Only recently my friend Emer invited me to a Laura Ashley crafting event to launch their range of crafting kits in Glasgow. Sitting with a group of lovely women, drinking tea, having a giggle and eating mouthwatering cakes at the Butterfly and Pig all while violently stabbing our felt creations into shapes (some with more success than others) was a brilliant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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I liked using the crafting kits from Laura Ashley because even though I’m not particularly good at crafting, having everything that I needed gave me a bit of confidence. I’m quite pleased with how my little creations turned out!
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Before even going to the event I had bought someone (I’ll not name names in case they read this) one of the Laura Ashley apron making kits for Christmas. I thought it would be something fun and a bit different for the Christmas stocking. I’ll include a link to the website here if you want to take a look at their stuff for a gift (or maybe a little self gift…).

For me the key to crafting is that it does take you a step backwards. But not in the way I’d thought. When you’re with your friends, laughing at your concoctions or by yourself with your masterpiece, crafting gives you bit of time to step back from yourself, your schedule and all of the noise to immerse yourself in what’s in front of you.

So my recommendation is to give crafting a go. Have you ever tried it? Leave a comment below and tell me all!

 

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Blogger Recognition Award

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I’m really thrilled to have been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Clare. He blog is a wonderful mix of food, fitness and honesty and I’d recommend that you read it.

Why did I start a blog?

Well, firstly I haven’t been blogging for very long. 11 months to be exact. But like most of the things I do, before I actually did it I had a really good think about it (serial planner right here!) I live in Scotland but I’m from Ireland. I’ve been here since 2013 and in that time I’ve met wonderful people, they’ve moved away and I’ve met more wonderful people. Saying goodbye is never easy. I love to be around people who are a positive influences and I knew that I’d have a very small circle come January (I’m not very good at making new friends) and that I’d be losing some of the fun and joy and encouragement of those around me. Now one thing I could do nothing about. You can’t conjure up new friends or make people stay where they are when they are clearly moving on to bigger and better things. But I could do something to keep me positive and creative. And although it wasn’t the same as having actual people around me, I thought a blog all about my goals and being healthy and positive would be the perfect way to bridge that. So I decided that I would start writing. And I would start writing in the New Year, as a New Years resolution, and that I would write about things that make me feel good, like running and being healthy and trying new things.

So that’s what I did.

11 months on I’ve been kept the resolution.

And kept in touch with the people who moved away.

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Bringing Beth on her first trip to Ireland
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Meeting Audrey in New York this year

And I made some wonderful new friends too.

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The crafting coven shopping for our Halloween costumes

If I were to give a piece of advice to new bloggers it would simply be to blog because you enjoy it. It’s okay to take a break when you’re not enjoying it and remember that this is your space so write about what’s important to you.

So, now I’ve told you a bit about me, what about you?

I’d like to nominate the following blogs:

Born to Plod

Tina Kivela

The Long Run to Boston 2016

Tangerine Wallpaper

Sneakerdrive

Just Like A Woman

Green Wolf Pack

Jotterizing

Twenty Something on Coffee

Happy to Be Me

The Happy Healthy Kiwi

A Whole New Resolution

Kirsten Walsh

Gessica Albu

Living By Vogue

If you blog appears in the above list, here are the rules of the Blogger Recognition Award:

  1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you
  2. Give a brief story of how your blog got started
  3. Give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers
  4. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog
  5. List those you’ve nominated in the post and comment on their blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them.

Thanks for reading.

Jen