Recent Posts

Something borrowed – take a little #RoyalWedding with you

Something borrowed – take a little #RoyalWedding with you

Did you watch the royal wedding? It was the type of event that was hard to avoid, but has it happens, it was worth watching! After the initial wait to see the dress, there were the sweet little exchanges, the very popular bishop, and the…

Tue Review: 20 March 2018

Tue Review: 20 March 2018

Can this be right? It’s been 5 months since I wrote for Hermitopia? That’s horrendous!!! Actually, it’s been an crazy 5 months. There was a mini-getaway to Nice, Christmas in Portugal, snow flurries across the county, endless social get togethers, and a new car!! Now…

The dreaded ‘Dress Code’

The dreaded ‘Dress Code’

Confession time: I did another order from Everything5Pounds. I have mixed feelings, and this is why.

I has been trying to resist fast fashion. Having said that, some of the items from E5P are excellent quality. The other reason for internal disquiet is that the reason I needed* to buy more clothes is because I woefully underestimated how cold it was going to be in February and ended up wearing the same jumper 2-3 times per week. That’s not exactly the way Project333 is meant to work. I should have allocated more tops and fewer dresses, and more of those tops should have been suitable for work. Lesson learned.

*I rarely need to buy new clothes, and I over justify every purchase I make.

My order arrived yesterday and I wonder whether I’ve overcompensated for my previous lack of winter wear. I’ve found myself with three new knit jumpers just as the temperature is getting back up to two digits.

But there are still a few weeks left of this season, and just as we move to the Spring wardrobe – which I’m still to select – we’ll be packing for our next getaway. No idea what to pack for that, but I know it won’t be a lot. We always go carry-on only.

Something that added an unexpected challenge to my daily clothing selection was my office dress code. Primarily because I didn’t know what it was, and once I did I risked losing my pants.

“No jeans or leggings.” For real?

It’s still winter. I have two pairs of trousers, one pair I tried on and they are too tight right now, so they give my walk a high-decibel replication of corduroy. *shudder*

I quizzed HR about it. They agreed that “jeans” is now a dubious term. When the dress code was originally created, jeans only meant blue denim. Now jeans covers a much wider range of leg covering, and at least half the organisation was probably wearing them. The point was, you couldn’t tell that they were “jeans”, they were just like sturdy, stretchy trousers.

Therefore, jeans are fine if they don’t look like jeans. How do you evaluate your wardrobe to that description?

Fortunately, I’d recently heard some friends complaining about their office dress code. Jeans weren’t an issue because their office had an excellent way of separating the comfortable, sensible jeans from the trendy-but-not-for-the-office jeans.

Clean, tidy, no contrasting stitching.

Instantly, it’s easy to know which of my jeans are fine. I don’t have any torn jeans (apart from the pair I was wearing today and discovered the thigh has just given out – damn). And I have two pairs of blue jeans with the classic amber stitching. Out they go. The black pair and the grey pair can stay.

I just hope they survive the winter.

 

Is it really a bargain?

Is it really a bargain?

Fast fashion. Once upon a time, the “skint” reason made sense. If my work shoes broke and there was only enough money for bills and a spare £12, I couldn’t go out and buy patent leather brogues. Buy I could by something for £9 that…

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 resolute.

Being resolute feels so aggressive. I don’t mind being assertive, but I don’t particularly want to start the year by thinking about strict rules. The reasoning behind the resolutions is what’s important.

There are some positives I’ve been thinking about lately. Over the last year, there have been a few things I’ve put more effort into that I would like to continue. They also have a sustainable/ethical theme:

  1. When travelling, only buying locally-made souvenirs (sometimes challenging)
  2. Only buying “cruelty-free” cosmetics
  3. Moving away form “fast fashion” and buying quality, lasting items instead
  4. Not buying unnecessary nonsense that I’m only going to once

These are things I’ve always felt were “the right thing to do”, but I was either skint or weak.

Neither excuse is viable now. So I will make an effort. A bit more animal-friendly. A bit more environmentally-friendly. A bit more ethical.

No “new year” overhaul. Just being a bit… more.

 

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…

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 all predetermined, not by me. I’ve had to carve out tiny pockets of time to write, which is very difficult. Most days writing is just a dream. All I can usually manage is a few 5 minute blocks of Candy Crush Saga. Candy Crush is my lifesaver at the moment. It completely calms my mind down!

There are a lot of good things to look forward to on the horizon. We booked a spontaneous trip to France for a weekend, and we’re headed to Portugal for Christmas. I have high hopes for smoothing things out in the office over the coming months. My team are quite frazzled right now, and things will get worse before they get better, but one October comes most of the workload will ease. Senior Management have often referred to my role as the “ship’s captain”, and I hope to be seen as someone they can have faith in – thus avoiding a mutiny!

Now that the mess of moving house is calming down, I think I need to really stop and take accountability for how I’m managing life in general. I’ve really struggled lately to concentrate on getting one thing done at a time (common problem for me!) and instead I’m getting mentally exhausted for no measurable output. So I’ve wiped my goal list clean again. I need really simple, dead easy, super basic goals this week.

Brain: I will write a To-Do list.
Action: I write To-Do lists all the time. But what I mean by this one is that I will create a lazy whiteboard at home and write on it everything I want to get done, but only tasks that can actually be crossed off as totally complete. So I’m not going to put things like “write a blog post”, because that’s reoccurring. What I will put is the one-off tasks. Sort out the filing. Sign up to a local fitness class. Change our address with my loyalty cards. I get discouraged and distracted by long lists in my mind. It’s much better to have them on a whiteboard, where I can update it and can’t misplace it.

Body: I will have two “exercise days” per week.
Action: Sounds lazy, doesn’t it? Only exercising twice a week? But I need to stop overthinking this. I need to stop getting disappointed in myself every time I don’t do something. An “exercise day” will be a day I meet a good level of exercise: that means I scoot my commute, or I attend a fitness class, or I do 10k steps.

Soul: I will express myself creatively for 30 minutes each week.
Action: Okay, I realise that I have previously said that I don’t like vague goals. So I will define creative expression as writing, cooking or repairs. Cooking and repairs might sound like they are less creative, but I get the same feeling form it. There is a tangible result, which has been made by me. It’s satisfying all the same!

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…