Low-key big living

Author: Ellie

Do I dare to try Project333?

Do I dare to try Project333?

As with my quest to only buy recyclable, cruelty-free cosmetics, the new year has made me think of other changes. Nothing swift, just those slow-burn changes that make an impact over time. One such change that has been bouncing around overactive mind is Project333.   […]

Not resolutions, just good ideas

Not resolutions, just good ideas

Happy New Year, and all that. You had a good Chrissy? A nice break from work (for some)? Laughed, drank, got fat? Good job. Have you set any new year’s resolutions? Ugh. No. No I have not. You know why? Because I’m really not that […]

Coffee and Castles in Carcassonne

Coffee and Castles in Carcassonne

It took until now for us to do what we have proclaimed as a goal for years. We took a budget weekend away to a destination chosen by Ryanair.
 
That’s not how we’ve worded it before, but it is how it worked out. We wanted to take more quick, affordable getaways on weekends. So we took some leave and extended our weekend, and found an extremely well-priced flight to an unfamiliar destination: Carcassonne.
 
There were two completely superficial reasons why we were unsure at first. The name was not inviting. Romantic thoughts do not come to mind when you hear of a place that starts with the word “carcass”. But that was extremely shallow and irrelevant, so it was easy to move on. The second reason not to go was an excellent reason to actually go: it’s in France.
 
We haven’t seen a lot of France. We’ve been to Paris many times and, as the French themselves will tell you, you shouldn’t judge France by Paris. We didn’t particularly enjoy Paris until our 3rd or 4th visit. In the meantime we’ve been to Strasbourg, which was charming and elegant, but it didn’t feel overly French. That tends to happen to places that keep moving borders! We did keep telling ourselves that we need to see more of France to appreciate it. So when we saw return flights for around £15-£20, we googled some pictures, saw there was a medieval castle and that was really all we needed to know!
 
 
The purpose of this trip wasn’t just to have a random weekend away. We also wanted to do a trip that wasn’t about cramming sights. Usually, we pick a region, fly over, then catch trains to as many nearby cities as we can. We love trains and enjoy the excitement of city-hopping. But with work being so busy, we wanted to find somewhere to go that was new, with nice walks and good cafés. Carcassonne definitely did the trick!
Our accommodation was 20 minutes’ walk from the castle, and our daily walk took us down suburban streets and everyday retailers. Little, regular things amused us, like the way the locals parked their cars over the sidewalk, the hotel’s resident dog, or the colourful pastries for sale in what appeared to be a converted petrol station. I love casually looking at the local houses and imagining who lives there, what they do, and what they think about tourists wandering down such un-touristy roads. We even got a local takeaway kebab one night!
Our Carcassonne kebab spot
 We spent one evening walking around the modern part of town, relaxing and people-watching. The rest of the time was spent within the castle walls. Or on the castle walls. The views were stunning! The city’s history at the edge of Spain gave it a familiar and inviting feel for us. Small houses, faded by the sun. Although the reddish tones of the roofs did also have a hint of Dubrovnik, there were plenty of Spanish elements to be seen.
Although the views were part of the reason to be there, we do always make sure that we know the best food to try!! The most famous dish of the region was a stew with white beans. I did want to try it, but I never felt in the mood. We did have the world’s most incredible omelette, though! But it was the sweets that really blew us away. Not only were they delicious, but they were gorgeous! Some were also confusing. Who knew that peas, carrots and every kind of fruit could be so cute and sugary?
          

The trip was so relaxing – and affordable – that we already decided that we would love to come back! Any time there is another cheap flight at the weekend, we know where we can go!

Tue Review: 3 October 2017

Tue Review: 3 October 2017

Okay, it’s been a whole month since I did an update, AND I haven’t done much towards my goals. But I survived the biggest event of the year for work, and had a wonderful getaway to France! The getaway was exactly what we had hoped […]

Tue Review: 5 September 2017

Tue Review: 5 September 2017

Did I miss a week again? Did I miss two? Yikes! Where does the time go? I’ve definitely been feeling out of sorts lately. There has been so much happening ever since we moved. I often feel as though my actions during the day are […]

Beautifying a Business Bod – How to accessorize a suit

Beautifying a Business Bod – How to accessorize a suit

I adore the crisp lines of a good suit. Executives, military, flight attendants; there are plenty of suited and booted looks that can draw you in. No doubt someone has done a study about why some work wear is just so appealing, but for me it’s the completeness. There is nothing more to add, nothing to take away. The right work wear look can make you feel ready to accomplish anything!
 
But the curvier amongst us can have a little difficulty. We’ve discussed great suit choices before, but that’s just the foundation. Corporate dresses are also a very smart option. But one you have the starting point, you need to build on it. How do you get that “complete” look – without completely changing career?
 
I adore the crisp lines of a good suit. Executives, military, flight attendants; there are plenty of suited and booted looks that can draw you in. No doubt someone has done a study about why some work wear is just so appealing, but for me it’s the completeness. There is nothing more to add, nothing to take away. The right work wear look can make you feel ready to accomplish anything!
 
But the curvier amongst us can have a little difficulty. We’ve discussed great suit choices before, but that’s just the foundation. Corporate dresses are also a very smart option. But one you have the starting point, you need to build on it. How do you get that “complete” look – without completely changing career?
 

Not to say you can’t change careers. Who here hasn’t thought of being a flight attendant or a sailor just to look that good?!?

Where do you want highlight?


 
Head: Get people to look you right in the eye. Go big with earrings, hair accessories or a cravat to keep the attention up where you want it to be. You can go full trolley-dolly with the suit, cravat and controlled hair, but this can work well with dresses too, particularly if you want to jazz up a solid base colour, such as grey.
 Bust: Whether you’re balancing a pear bum, or you just love your lemons, you’ve got plenty of ways to focus on your bustline. If the cut of the suit or dress doesn’t do it for you, try lace or embellished camisoles under a suit, necklaces, brooches or scarves to add weight to the top of your shape.
 
 

   

 

Waist: The easiest way to emphasise a shapely waist is the cut of the outfit – BUT if your clothes are doing enough you can call in reinforcements. Any belt can do the job of marking out your narrower middle, but the current trend for wide corset-style belts will really make it pop! It’s like a wonder bra for your waist!

 
 
Hips: To show off your hips, you need to look a little further down. Sure, belts can come in handy too, but even if your suit isn’t curve-accentuating, a good pair of heels will lift your butt and give you that super strut feeling!

 

 

 

Inset image: Fly Me to the Moon by Momo (edited), used under CC BY 2.0

Adding some international flavour

Adding some international flavour

Have you ever looked at a national or cultural outfit and wanted to borrow parts for yourself? Not that you want to encourage commercial cultural appropriation, but something caught you eye. The colour, the lines, the pattern, the fabric – something made you feel good […]

Tue Review: 15 August 2017

Tue Review: 15 August 2017

I’ve done something small and it’s driving me crazy. I misplaced a key. The last time I used it was only yesterday morning, and yet I can’t remember where I put it. The second-last time I used it, I remember thinking “We really need to […]

Tue Review: 1 August 2017

Tue Review: 1 August 2017

What a long day! I was interviewing nearly all day, and that's a lot of human contact for an introvert! Yikes! My head is ready to explode!
Brain Goal: I will review my blog plan this weekend I will get up to date with my new job. Action: This is a real goal. I've been behind on my emails since day one, and it's coming to the end of the quiet time and I'm not up to date with anything. I need to catch up soon before my energy runs out.
Body Goal: I will walk 10,000 steps per day. I will get better at riding the scooter until I can scoot all the way to work without stopping. Action: This is a remarkably challenging goal. I've used my scooter to get to work once so far. It took just over half an hour and I had to stop several times because I was so out of breath. It's fun, but it's hard work! But I will gradually get better, and hopefully be able to scoot equally with either leg. So far I can only balance on my right leg. On my leg I wobble and can't ride straight!
Soul Goal: I will write a business plan for my next venture – getting paid to write. I will plan my blog posts for the rest of the year. Action: I love my blogs 🙂 I need to take better care of them!
Hair choices… sombre or ombre?

Hair choices… sombre or ombre?

I’ve been thinking about doing something new with my hair. I’ve always had a history of playing withcolour, but for the last five years I’ve been rather tame. Partly because I was being “sensible” (i.e. “corporate”) and partly because I was growing it long and […]