Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Rachel, however, has always managed to provide a simple programme that involves no expense. Really she should have her own book out. The trouble is she is worried about me publishing photos like these...
Luckily for you and her, there is always a camera malfunction when it comes to the evening!
In essence the diet you need to follow for fighting the long winter flab and getting fit for you hols is thus:
The Rachel Hubbard diet
30 minutes of cardio exercise a day, six days a week.
100 sit ups every day
A hearty breakfast - load up on carbs etc in the morning.
Fruit/veggies for lunch, rest of day
A very light supper - i.e. make your portions small - you could just have a small piece of steamed fish, veggies & salad for example
Basically you have to think of food in groups
Your essentials = vegetables, fruits, complex carbs, lean protein, low fat yoghurt
Fat inducers = cheese, sausages, bacon, red meat, full fat dairy, crisps, chips (need I go on)
Luxuries = alcohol, chocolate, cakes etc.
Choose essentials, stay away from fat inducers and really limit luxuries.
If it is just a flatter stomach you are after then simply no alcohol, no bread and do sit ups.
By not following a complex diet book and keeping it simple you can just be focused. It is hard at first as you make that commitment to exercise (a 30 minute walk counts) and decreasing your bad calorie intake. Note, nothing is banned nor is there only allowed items. You are in charge of your health kick and in six weeks, if you stick to it you'll see a big difference. Mine starts today!
Monday, 30 May 2011
The next day saw a change of pace when I finally fitted into Mr MDS's lifestyle. Incredibly he invited me along with him and petit garcon to the PGA championship golf at Wentworth. I was so shocked to be included I said yes! In the past I've either been working or out socialising doing things I like to do. I ignored my slight hangover and wondered what an earth to wear to golf. I decided to channel an off duty Ms Wintour. Handily one of my best friends had given me an exclusive Ryder Cup tank as she was a very important person in the event held at Celtic Manor.
Bamford jacket (4 years old) French Connection jeans (2 years old), Topshop snood (Sept 10), Springform sneakers (5 years old lovingly worn in)
Wentworth is beautiful and of course one could argue that golf is a good walk ruined (a fav quip) but for once I chilled and followed Mr MDS who knew everything. There I was in an alien environment and it wasn't much different from being at a festival, more orderly and lest wasted peeps granted but it has it's appeal and place. I managed to snap a couple of the golfing world superstars but I couldn't be bothered to snap Ian Poulter (he was walking too fast) and as Luke Donald was playing an important shot, it would have been bad form (apparently). I can't say I would be rushing out to such an event again but it was nice to spend time with Mr MDS and the petit garcon .
Eighteen months later after completing her masters, working part time as stylist to fund her academic indulgence and still being a mother and running a home (Mr MDS was very helpful btw) - her views, ambitions and goals changed. Never one to be anything other than practical (an antidote to her adventurous, playful wild child side) Mrs MDS carried on working part time to pay off her career development loan which helped to fund her masters. And she began to wonder and think about what she really wanted to do. She suddenly didn't give a fig for fashion or styling. She still loves fashion but from a distance, not in the all absorbing way of old.
In short it seems she has a taken a whopping big chill pill and is happily bumbling along writing her film script, doing the odd project (fashion writing, retail consultancy) and contemplating what next.
The moral of the story is never be afraid to change tack....hence the further adventures of Make Do Style.
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Therefore, I give you my hangover cure. The best way I find to beat feeling a bit ropey, as opposed to having a raging hangover, is to eat well, little and often. I started my morning prior to the school walk with orange juice and Weetabix. The school walk helped and so upon return a cup of green tea was next on list. By 11am I needed refuelling so choose my favourite combination of french bread, peanut butter topped with fresh raspberries (I squash them on the top) and a hydrating cartoon of coconut water.
Now if only I could go back to bed...
Monday, 23 May 2011
The personal stuff is almost resolved but not for broadcasting yet. My two outstanding matters are a) finishing film script (on course, going well), & b) what to call the blog. I feel like moving on from the ethos of Make Do Style. I need a new challenge, editorial shift. So far I'm floundering. I still want to be fashion related but less about stuff more about interrogation, you know examining things in detail. Nothing is firmed up. Suggestions in comment box welcomed.
Lifestyle wise we have no car. In fact we've been car less for over 10 days. I have to walk and cycle everywhere except when I take train & tube. This takes up tons of time. Why the school run is 30- 40 mins each way. I do this twice a day most days. The good news is the amount of money we are saving, easily £40 a week in petrol, plus all the rest of the expenditure. Of course this cannot continue but it won't hurt for another week. I've been informed it might take 16 weeks for delivery but Mr MDS's work will loan us a pool car before then (phew).
The petit garcon is scooting or cycling and doing very well.
He is also doing well on his gardening front, he has had the pleasure of 3 of his own strawberries already. The herb bag growing isn't doing so well so we might transfer the sprouting bits to the beds.
My strawberry plant which weathered the snow and frost is yielding 40+ fruit. I've got peas, tomatoes, rocket, artichokes, runner and broad beans on the go. The chillies look like they are growing too and there are gooseberries, raspberries and loganberries flowering and sprouting. The rhubarb is still going strong.
Whilst tending the garden last week I spotted a few bees making the most of the flowers. I lost ages watching them. There was such a baby one too. I need to put more ornamental plants and flowers in the garden. It lacks colour and prettiness.
Because I'm knee deep in sorting my future out and writing my script I can only apologise for failing to comment on your wonderful blogs. I will be sorted soon....
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Why this dress - well it is a little bit French, a little bit Linda McCartney and whatever your bust size or body shape it will work. And might I add age too...
Thursday, 19 May 2011
My annoyance, nay anger about Richardson is that fashion is the last bastion of protection for predators, usually justified under the banner of 'art'. The mention of Moss is a by product because of her mutual beneficial relationship with Richardson et al.
There is nothing I can disclose due to contracts/confidentiality etc. but the more the days go by and I'm not working in the fashion industry as I was, the more I realise how fashion has more in common with the Roman Catholic church's inertia and cover ups of sexually abuse by priest.
I've always assumed that models take cocaine or other drugs in lieu of being a fallen women as was the way in the Victorian ages, how else do you cope with your 'value'. Found by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is a painting of a countryman finding his former sweetheart is a London prostitute. Her shame upon discovery, lends her to sink to her knees and lean her face away from him. There is further symbolism with the lamb in the cart encased in net.
My point is shame binds women to collusion in the 21st century. The fashion industry needs a champion, a hero or heroine to stop the rot and don't expect Moss to stand up to the cause. Nuff said!
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
It took all my resolve not to run after said group of girls and ask the one (with a roll up on the go) who'd uttered the words exactly what she was referring to. Was it clothes, music, dalliances with younger men - what could it be!
I tried to put myself in their shoes and all I could think was that when I was 17 I thought 30 was old!. In the late 80s the American programme Thirty Something seemed an alien concept.
I really wish I knew. I would love to know the disparaging thoughts of youth. In the absence of the definitive words lets all have a go at finishing the sentence
'It is so annoying , I hate it when women in their 30s and 40s ....'
I'll make a start '...try and copy Alexa Chung's style'
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
The first chore of the day in a day of being prepared was to cycle to the nearest supermarket (excluding the local Tesco express) which handily is Waitrose. I was of course getting all the ingredients together to host a welcome home meal for Mr MDS, although by rights gallivanting with a bunch of chums in Spain is nothing to be celebrated. Still it was going to be nice to see him again and hand over sole charge of the petit garcon.
We have no car at the moment which is great as I'm as fit as a fiddle from walking everywhere and the tide on the fat hips has been turned. Also with no Mr MDS to feed my diet had improved 100%, no meat and smaller portions. Saturday was to continue in this vein with a pre return request of 'no meat' from Mr MDS. A tad too much jamon and boys barbecue's for any grown man.
I took my own bags and one of my current favourite handy bags to have is my Isabella Oliver black bag,which the clothes are packed in for delivery. I'm sure when they were designed they didn't anticipate them being packed full with Campari, Prosecco, white wine and soda water. I had to cycle slowly home in order to avoid a spillage. My poor bicycle basket was creaking under the weight of the bottles and the groceries.
Perdita's Pursuits in person
Mr MDS and I reunited over spritz and frittata, constantly interrupted by the petit garcon, who by now was a proud owner of a Real Madrid away kit, decided to get into the party spirit of the Eurovision song contest. In truth our party began well but declined as firstly petit garcon had to be put to bed once 9pm had been reached. I got too handy on twitter and Mr MDS fell into a snoring slumber on the settee, missing the best bit, the voting. So there I was alone with Graham Norton and twitter - quite a party!
Saturday, 14 May 2011
My two pet hates (there are more but in the context of this post) are grown women living in the cities and towns of this fair isle who think shorts and spaghetti top vest constitute being dressed. And those that think tanks with anything other than long trousers or maxi skirts can also be worn in cities and towns during daylight hours.
I beg you all to reconsider. A cap sleeve tee is a better bets with jeans, shorts and skirts. More dignified, and a far more elegant choice than cami tops or tanks. I always wear a long sleeve top with my shorts. I cannot abide showing too much flesh in the daytime. Of course by night as a stripper it is fine - only kidding! But what one wears out of an evening is entirely fair game.
Therefore I was delighted to stumble upon this very fine knit which would for a fresh late spring early or late summer's day look lovely with shorts and espadrilles particularly upon a Boris bike across London town. I rather like the fresh feel of eucalyptus as a colour choice.
Friday, 13 May 2011
I'm quite gutted and I have no will or energy to rewrite or post at the moment until the issue is resolved.
It is a dreadful shame this has happened. Many of us die hard Blogger users have tweeted a lot about moving over to wordpress.
The joys of technology and blogging hey!
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Let's get the current pitfalls of frugality aired so the word is not associated with austerity or austerity measures, aka the UK current government who are hell bent on confusing personal frugality with ideological measures. To be clear, looking after your household/personal budget is not the same as a complex economic framework. Mr Osbourne might be found of referring to governance of the Treasury as if he were figuratively holding purse strings and all that is required to show some economic might is some tightening of a belt but the reality is an economy is not a pile of cost centres but a machine with cogs that interact, stagnate and fall apart depending on how they are greased. Application of measures designed to inflate, stagnate or stem an economy is not undertaken by one simple act - unlike our own budgets.
We are the masters of our own budgets and can fiddle with the purse strings as much as we like. We can increase or decrease the funding of a certain area of our personal finances without it causing a global economic crisis. We can if we try inject more credit into them too by working more or selling stuff. Lottery wins are always a hope.
Being frugal has become more a lifestyle choice due to lessons drawn from mass consumerism, a trend that grew in the 1980s and accelerated until the banking crisis in 2008 - bit of general sweep but this is a blog post! Mass consumerism has had a two fold impact, one being an increase in personal debt and the other being an increase in stuff.
Frugality is what Gordon Brown spent a lot of time talking about over many years - being prudent. No one really listened to Mr Brown's view on prudence. He did of course equally spend many years increasing the support to poor households and made it his personal mission to end child poverty. Typically, frugality for Puritans and Quakers meant ensuring you were careful with your money so that you could save it and allocate the savings for more charitable purposes. Mr Brown with his Calvinist background was particularly prudent so he could be charitable. He was fairly hopeless in terms of being 'liked or likeable' but in reality much of his ethos shaped our best times.
Of course for Mrs MDS as others, being frugal is a by product of personal circumstances, notably being rubbish with money for so many years it has caught up with one and not really saving for a rainy day. Truth be told rainy days sounded so terrible dull. Now rainy days look like sunshine compared to inflation, petrol prices and increased costs to everything. Now the fashion is to be frugal. None of us want debts, most of us wish not to have a credit card and a savings account is preferable to an 'it bag'. Spending seems like showing off. Now of course it is all about, sewing, vintage, allotments and home made things.
I have found my outgoings are much less than they used to be (the ones I can control) and I make every endeavour to keep the battle against waste going. Paying back debts is a mind field and there is conflicting advice but being debt free is probably a nice personal goal. I've not tried to be clever and avoid a lot of the Martin Lewis, money expert type advice and stick to the more palatable and nicer Alvin Hall.
Frugal, prudent, making do - it is all the same. Think before you spend, have a budget, think of others less fortunate and in need plus review your spending and budgets but don't forget to enjoy life! You can do lots for free, think libraries for books and museums and taking walks in town or country. Do things on a budget, throw dinner for friends with down to earth meals such as chilli con carne and find inspiration from others. You are not being tight with your money - it's frugal.
Do share your money saving tips...
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
When I plan the meals, I tend to think seasonal first, then healthy and then cost. Fresh food isn't expensive, seasonal food is cheaper and use lentils or pearl barley rather than meat to keep the cost down. I only plan for fish on a Friday night and meat for Sunday.
Yesterday I had to gather in the rhubarb from the garden as it was going wild. We've already had a couple of crumbles out it for a Sunday afternoon since March. I made the stew base for the delicious rhubarb and ginger crumble recipe we use all the time courtesy of the wonderful Fox & Anchor
After it had cooled down I froze the stew to whip out Nigella stylie when the occasions calls.
I also made a cost cutting (and calorie cutting) shepherds pie with lentils so Olive magazine calls it a garden pie. It is delicious and consists of puy lentils, celery, shallots, carrot, parsnip, veg stock and tomato puree then topped with mash. Quick 5 min grill to give it that vajazzeled look!
The garden pie
Porridge oats are 99p for a bag, I buy granny smiths for grating and the biggest expenditure is the yoghurt. You can add anything to the porridge oats, like raisins and chopped nuts or chopped dried apricots. I like to keep it simple with the grated apple.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Once I had recovered from my brief flirtation with my past addiction, I felt so much better and felt immediately richer. I'm now in the midst of compiling a mood board to inspire me to ride out my period of hardship. It is the classic case of when you make a plan to diet you suddenly want to stuff your face with cake. The mind needs motivation not deprivation, so goal setting is key. I've worked out the basics of a Christmas ski holiday, it entails no birthday and Christmas presents, a certain amount put aside every week, all changes put in a tin plus a car boot sale. I'm going to buy our family Christmas presents asap - I've set a budget for this and a deadline to do it all by. I'm going to ask them not to buy us presents for birthdays and Christmas but give us the cash instead. My family are used to being given hints or directives so they won't be offended. I think their favourite year was when I said we could only spend £10 on our Christmas presents per person. It was good fun and made for some hilarious buys.
So yesterday was all planning and being organised. But I also had an errand to run, namely some speedo swimming briefs for the petit garcon. He's started swimming lessons at school, they have a small 15metre outdoor pool which is a complete gem for a primary school. However the regulation stipulations are swimming cap and speedo briefs for boys, no shorts allowed.
On the way to the sports shop, I walked past a charity shop and there in the window was the brightest yellow top - ever! I nipped in, tried it on and got myself what I wanted for £4.50. I'm sure it was the Vix and Sharon Rose effect. I was channelling both when I turned my back on conspicuous consumption for better things and found the perfect top thanks to the Economy Gods.
Monday, 9 May 2011
It is hard to find the balance on fiscal sense for oneself and having hopes and desires. It is the blending of reality (your income) and what you can do (how to achieve goals). I felt spurred on by Christina and Vix - I spend too easily and I don't go the extra mile at times to do something on an affordable scale. I will buy new rather than hunt around. Sometimes this is fine but often by deciding to set a limit on what you can spend, it makes you more creative and look around for alternative ways.
In some respects I'm really good. I grow things, make bread, do monthly meal planners and have a household budget but equally I fritter things away. I will suddenly invite all and sundry around and go mad on food and drink so everyone has a great time. I still want to do this but need to think about not blowing the budget and make everything go further. I don't need to get olives and nibbles etc. Just a meal, pudding and a fun drink - I'm favouring the Venitian Spritz (recipe below post) - all homemade.
Vix made me think about how to focus. I really want to go skiing this year for Christmas so I'm going to have that as a goal. It is the same price as skiing in the February half term and neither Mr MDS or I have been skiing since the arrival of the petit garcon. We would like him to learn to and although this is indulgent I do think it is important to have a goal. We've got all the gear so all I need to get is a ski suit for the petit garcon - even he has got thermals due to all the cold weather we had last year. I even got him salopettes from TK Maxx two years ago but they are too small now.
I also want to clear the last bit of my student loan - only 10 months to go and get rid of my overdraft. Because I'm in the midst of writing it really doesn't matter if I don't go out. My mind is elsewhere and I've partied for Britain over the years, home and away. My best cure for jet lag is to go out to a club, dance a bit and then go to sleep. Of course that's not on the cards these days. My next step is to cut out all wastage, no processed foods, no more wine, no coffees and no ebay, amazon or anything.
To assist my endeavours, I will make a mood board. One that reminds me why I'm not spending money. After all I've been styling for years and creating outfits out of anything. I spent a few hours in front of the mirror trying on different combinations to remind me I don't need any more clothes! It did remind me that I do need to lose my spare tyre or two and that is a great motivator as clothes always look better when not so snug.
The most important thing is the roof over our heads, food on the table and the rest is just a bonus.
Venetian Spritz Recipe
Spritz is a popular apertif in Venice. It is reasonably priced and always served with a complimentary bowl of potato chips, making it the perfect beverage for tourists wanting to appear inconspicuous and save money at the same time. Italian bartenders will usually offer a choice between a Spritz made with Campari or Aperol, another bitter aperitif.
- 2 oz Prosecco*, Italian sparkling wine from Treviso
- 1 oz Campari
- Splash of Soda water or more if you want to have 2 glasses!
- Green olive and lemon peel twist (optional)
- In the glass add ice, Prosecco, Campari and soda water.
- Garnish with a green olive and lemon peel twist impaled on a short wooden skewer.
- Best enjoyed while sitting alongside a canal in Venice
*White wine can be substituted for Prosecco.