Friday, 23 September 2016

Do you Have a Defined Style? ( & #Passion4Fashion Linkup)

When collating and working with a capsule wardrobe it really makes you take a long hard look at your own personal style.
The easiest way to make a capsule work for you is to have a clear cut style that works across all of your pieces, therefore making it easier to remix and create new outfits and to also wear them.
I have to say this may be one of the things I strugle with most.

For a long time I have been searching for my defined style and if i indeed actually had one.

If you look back through my archives of 5 and a bit years you will see my style has changed tremendously over this time (and lucky me i have documented proof too, ha! Oh lord... all those coloured tights, It was like a  rainbow threw up on me!)

When you look at some of the highest followed Instagram accounts, they have a uniform, a defined style, each photographic square flows perfectly continuously in to the next.

I think i still struggle with this.

Every time i've ever defined my style it as inevitably changed again.
Since hitting 30 I can say i have seen a definite change and somewhat of a consistency in style, but i do still like a bit of variation... Perhaps I'm just a bit fickle. Or maybe a change is as good as a rest?

Right now I swing between "preppy" (stripe tops, oxford shirts, stan smiths and trench coats) and "boho" (flares, floaty tops and a bit of floral).


My capsule is working for me right now, and i don't appear to have a problem with having a slightly bi-polar sense of style. Or maybe I'm just not quite ready to quit one or the other right now.
But I do wonder if I will ever truly have a defined, definite style.

Do you?
Do you have a defined style?
 As for this outfit, well I really wanted some of this pretty blush pink colour in my capsule. It's everywhere right now, and I am smitten with it. Its a great almost-neutral as it goes well with lots of colours (:think grey, dark jeans, black and even burgundy or forest green/khaki!). I also loved its interesting little twists on a plain sweater. The split flared sleeves, the split to the sides and the rib knit, that makes it thin but cosy. I think this could also make a great layering piece too!

I had wanted to pair this with some grey jeans, but having tried 5 pairs these past few weeks and NONE of them being at all right, I returned each pair and have continued my search. Previously I would have settled for a sub-par pair just to have them in my wardrobe, but i have learnt my lesson as I would previously have worn them once and consigned them to the ebay/charity pile.
The capsule has brought patience and pickiness (in a good way), I now longer settle for pieces that are just ok, or will do. I want each piece to be fantastic and exactly what I need. that way I know I will be happy to wear it time upon time.
So the trusty flares came out and did the trick just nicely.
I added in my new favourite accessory: The cord tie choker..
I actually love this little thing, although I do wonder if I can pull it off?
My 13 year old step daughter keeps borrowing it, which does make me wonder if i should relent and give it to her, lol!

Outfit details
River Island Flared jeans (2 years old) But these are the best on the market
H&M sweater
Bag is old but This one is divine!

I just wanted to mention.. I am starting to use the Rachel The Hat Facebook Page more and would love you to come "like" it.
Be sure to comment on something so I can come over and "like" your page too so we can be
FB buddies!

Every Friday  I shall be posting on my Facebook page my favourite look of one link-up lady form Passion 4 Fashion,
 So be sure to follow to see if you're featured!


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Introducing #GR8BOOKCHAT.. All invited!!

I've mentioned this a few dozen times before, but I love to read. I have loved reading from an early age, having watched my mum read everything the Library held, I guess that passed on to me.

One of the joys of reading a great book is discussing it with others who have also read it and sharing in those feelings you had for the book. There's nothing quite like discussing that book that got you so badly, you stayed up until 3am just to finish it.
Then talking about it makes you relive reading it all over again... Well with the good ones anyway.
Of course there are sometimes bad ones, thought provoking and educational to make things interesting.

So with that, myself and Gill of Bookish reader (who runs her own fantastic Book review Blog. She's my go-to lady for book recommendations) want to share our love of reading with you all and have created #GR8BookChat
We want to read and connect and discuss with you!

So if you love to read please join us!

The third Tuesday of every month  at 8pm we shall we taking to Twitter with the hashtag #GR8BookChat (which stands for Gill & Rachel at 8 Book Chat.. but also looks soooper old school cheesey 'cos y'know.. we're Gr8 ;) for one hour to discuss the chosen book.

This month's choice of book:

The Widdow

The Widow is a psychological thriller, which will have you turning the page and speed reading just to get to the bottom of the horrendous crime that has been committed.
I am currently just over half way through and I can barely put it down.

Its available on kindle and paperback.

Our first chat is on Tuesday October 18th which gives you just less than a month (which i assure you, you won't need with this page turner!) to read the book and gather your thoughts.
Join us at 8pm on twitter, search the hashtag and you will see the questions we shall post to get the conversation going. All you need to do is write your reply and add the hashtag in so we can keep the conversation going!
We're aiming for about 5 questions, but the conversation will hopefully just run between us all and be a great share and chat!

Each month we shall post a poll where you, dear readers, will vote for the books which we can then all go on to read and discuss.
We will be covering all sorts of genres and are eager for suggestions and recommendations from you, so if this wasn't your bag, don't worry.. we will be reading lots of different things, Plus it's always good to give something new a read don't you think?

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or come find myself or gill on twitter.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Autumn Essentials

I love autumn. 
Yep I am that clich├ęd blogger (don't we all just seem to love autumn/fall? Yay team bloggers!). 
But I honestly do, I love layers, knitwear, chunky boots, cold clear mornings and watching the countryside change colour, dark nights with mugs of hot drinks and cosy rich stews.

So without coming across all Maria and the Von Trap children, these are a few of my favourite things.. 
The Autumn Edition

1. Beautiful thick cosy socks. 
As soon as the warmer spring months roll around I pretty much go without socks, so for about 6 months of the year, I am indeed sock-less. So when the colder months come, there is nothing lovelier than donning a pair of thick knit, cosy, soft socks.
I recently added these BEAUTIFUL Free People socks on to my Shopbop order that I was placing, and I can not for my toes to bask in their snuggliness. They are honestly, the nicest socks I think I've ever purchased.

I actually use candles all year round.. But my absolute favourite scents come back on the scene in autumn. The berries, the cinnamon and the spiced apple are my idea of scented heaven (like this cheap and cheerful one). I have them all over the house so the scent permeates throughout. There's just something so satisfying, so relaxing about a dark room with candles flickering, it's one of my favourite ways to un-wind.

3. Lip scrubs. 
Because I am out walking quite a bit, I inevitably end up with chapped lips through autumn and winter due to cold temperatures and whipping winds. One of the only things that assists me with this is a great lip scrub. I've been using the Blissworld   Fabulips Sugar Lip scrub and it is heavenly. It exfoliates without being abrasive and allows lipstick application to go on smoothly, which with the deep berry tones that come with autumn, its essential to get it right.
Which leads me nicely on to..

4. Lipbalms.
Something I couldn't be without all year round, but i always make sure I have extra at hand during the colder months. I'm currently using the Pacifica Vegan tinted lipbalm  for that hint of colour as well as conditioning. 

5. Tea
I am an avid coffee drinker, either with soya milk or black.. I love it. But I can't drink it past 6pm or I'm wired and laying awake till stupid  o'clock and sleep just won't come. So I am trying some new tea's.. My friend recently recommended these Twinnings Cherry Bakewell flavour green teas, so these i shall try.

6. Foundation
Through summer I use a tinted moisturiser, but come winter my skin always needs that little bit of extra help and I inevitably up the coverage. I've recently picked up this Barry M Matt foundation and I really like it. It has just a small price tag of £5.99 but the coverage is great and the colour suits my skin perfectly. It sinks in to the skin really well and blends with a beauty blender wonderfully. For such a cheap foundation I really can't fault it!

7. Hand Cream
I'm acutely aware that I am getting proper old lady hands. I'm so clumsy and always cooking and doing dishes and so my hands take a bit of a beating. I'm forcing myself to make a new habit this season and start moisturising regularly. Sounds silly, but I think it would really help these well worn fingers out if i gave a little bit back to them. I'm using a lot of the Marks & Spencers own ranges as they are cruelty free and often vegan/vegetarian!

8. Burgundy Nails
Oh yes.. Berry, burgundy, wine... these are all the colours I want on my nails right now and for the foreseeable. I steer clear of them during Summer months and then thoroughly look forward to wearing them again. I'm looking at the Barry M in Chilli as my first of the season

What are your Autumn essentials.. pres tell, is there anything i should add on this season?


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Foodie: Carrot & Red lentil with a side of Roasted Asparagus Dippers

If there is one lunch i make more than any other its probably this: Carrot and red lentil soup.
It's easy, its filling, you can batch make it for the week or freeze it and above all, it's really tasty.
I've experimented with this over the past year and in all honesty it comes out slightly different each time, mostly because i do the measurements by eye, but i think it also makes a difference as to how sweet your carrots are. Different batches, slight difference, but all round yummy just the same.
My reasoning for the asparagus dippers was simple. Being wheat intolerant means no bread for dipping, which sucked. 
Yes there are many wheat free breads now on the market but I don't eat bread a great deal anyway so there's often not any in the house. 
But sometimes having a little dipper of some persuasion is satisfying. 
Cue the lovely roasted asparagus. 
So i've bigged it up enough, time for you to see just how easy this is.

what you will need:
For the soup
1kg of fresh carrots
250grams of dried red split lentils
1 white onion
1 litre of just vegetable stock or hot water, depending on your preference.
A small sprig of chives
Salt & Pepper
A handful of asparagus with the woody ends removed
Olive Oil

For the Soup
* Peel and chop your carrots in to rounds, place in a large saucepan 
* Peel and chop your onion in to small pieces and place in your saucepan
*Pour in your dried red lentils
*Add in your stock/hot water
*Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for about half an hour or until your carrots are soft.

** Note**
Don't season at this point. Adding salt to dried lentils before they are cooked hardens them making for a not so pleasant soupy experience.

*Once cooked, remove from the heat. With a hand blender (I just use this cheap and cheerful one from Tesco and it works great) blend until everything has combined and is smooth. 
*Season with rock salt and freshly black pepper and blend again.
*Chop your chives and either stir through or add to garnish.

For the Asparagus Dippers
I usually start this in the last 10 minutes of my soup cooking.
*Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
* Pour a glug of olive oil evenly across a baking tray and season with salt pepper  some garlic powder is also nice if you have it) and return to the oven for 5 minutes
* Once your oil is heated up bring your tray out and add your asparagus on to the hot tray. This will allow them to crisp up some what and making excellent dippers.. Season the asparagus and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Dish up & Serve!

It's that easy! I've broken it in to a few steps, but really it's just chop everything, throw it in a big pan add your stock and leave to cook! 
This makes the perfect autumn lunch. It's super heathy and vegan.
Plus all my kids love it, which as any parent knows, getting veggies in to your children is always deserving of an air fist pump!

Do try it, and let me know what you think!

Happy Cooking!

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