Goals 2017: Recommended Books and Films List

Do you know the feeling of walking out of a cinema feeling amazed at what you have just experienced? Feeling as if the world and your views on it have tilted a little after closing a book? My birthday last week made me think of what I wanted to achieve this coming year. My dad once called himself a student of life and what better way to learn than through the stories of others? So I have set a few goals; I created a book and film list that are to be completed within a year as well as the challenge to see at least one performance or exhibition each month. I really enjoy theatre and museums so one cultural outing per month seems setting the bar low but I would have to admit it would be an improvement.

Making the list of books was easy as there were many book I have been wanting to read, but I limited myself to a small number of books as I am not a fast reader and also wanted to leave space for other unplanned books that may take my fancy. I selected books that I think have the potential to influence me or that are classics and will thus allow me to understand more of the references being made in other media.

The film list was harder to set up, I came up with some titles but had to find suggestions elsewhere. I found this list on hellogiggles.com recommending films of which I had not seen the majority. The films on the list I had seen I enjoyed so I decided take these recommendations. Having this list will make me see films I might never have seen otherwise and I am curious to see what adventures the films will take me on. Ideally I'll be able to catch some of these films as reruns at one of my local cinemas. 
For those who can’t read my handwriting or stand the typos (Niagara not Niagra) you can find the full list typed out here.

Please excuse my curious cat, clearly he has decided to be in every blogpost from now on! Have you got a favourite book or film to recommend? Do you love any of the ones mentioned and should I make it a priority over the others? Let me know down below! x

Circus Freak Halloween Look

 It is not a secret that I love dressing up, last year I spent ages sewing a Ash jacket  for the boy and walked miles trying to find red braces and a yellow tank top to be Misty, and loved every minute of it. Not this year though, my outfit for Halloween was one of the easiest looks to create mainly made of things I already owned.

My “cirus freak” look was thought up one day on the bike and put together within minutes. I realise not everybody owns stripey trousers but their my favourite and mixing them with a velvet corset, some chunky boots and a red jacket was nearly the whole outfit done just from things we had lying about. I added two golden buttons on each side of the jacket’s lapel for a bit of shine and guess what they are lions! Nobody noticed a detail that small but I knew and sometimes that is enough. I also spruced up the top hat with a red and golden ribbon, added some dramatic lashes and lipstick and voilà, the look was done!
Or was it? I needed a bag, and not just any bag. A stuffed-toy-gone-backpack-bag was what I needed, so I made it. Full post on the process coming soon, but I can say I felt very save in the club as the zipper faces my back and hence is very hard for others to get into. And it is cat-approved!
Lastly here is a completely unedited shot to give you some idea what it is like behind the scenes – I cannot stop laughing at this picture. Clearly the tiger needs taming! 

Closet confessions: Maxime’s colourful collection

I have been wondering for a while whether personal style still exists or if we are all just wearing what is in stores right now. Has fast fashion killed personal style? I don’t think it has. Though some might follow trends blindly and others might do their best to dress as homogenously as possible, when I look at my friends I am confident personal style still exists. To further explore this I am diving into my friends’ wardrobes to celebrate personal style and to make fashion fun again.
To kick this series off we are starting with the girl who taught me what a trend is when I was eight years old. Maxime and I have been inseparable for over 15 years and I was very interested in what she had to say, as well as in what her wardrobe contains. Her colourful clothing collection takes up an entire wall of her bedroom and is filled with prints and graphic details. “I like fashion, I look for pieces that speak to me, usually this means simple but with a twist. Comfort is also very important.”
“When choosing what to wear I take into account what I will be doing that day and what kind of impression I want to give. I start by choosing a top, think about which jeans would work with it and then do the styling with layers. I love a nice cardigan or jacket, autumn and spring are definitely the best seasons to dress for. I finish my look by choosing a cool pair of sneakers. I love sneakers but if I could wear anything I would maybe choose to wear heels more often. I work as part of a production team for a TV show and the days are just too long and active to wear heels. For special occasions however I do enjoy dressing up in a nice dress and some heels to feel special.”
What she said raised two interesting points. Using fashion as part of a conversation, to introduce you and make a particular impression, is often dismissed as frivolous. I think that is a real shame because using what you wear to present yourself in a certain way is a form of self-expression and such a great way to make fashion more personal. If you are trying to not say anything with your clothes the easiest way to do that is to dress like everybody else, and where is the fun in that? The second point is high heeled shoes. Both Maxime and I are partial to a nice heel but also firmly believe that function comes before form in this case. No woman should feel obliged to wear heels, we are not making the boys work in stilts so only wear them if you want to.
“The most special pieces I own belonged to my grandmas. They wore these piece a lot and I am proud to now own them. I used to think that second-hand shopping was not for me but I now believe I just need to get better at it. Some people are so talented at spotting cool finds, I am not there yet. I was in Brussels a few weeks ago and I did find this amazing red vintage blouse and it made me realise that second-hand shopping does feel really good.” 
“I am not a huge fan of receiving fashion items as gifts. Style is so personal that despite me maybe liking a gifted item, I’ll still find that I hardly wear it, which is such a shame. Choosing what someone else would like to wear is so hard, I recommend letting them pick the item out themselves.”
“Young teens seem to be much more focussed on fashion nowadays. I always liked fashion but I don’t think it was as present for my classmates and me. I remember a specific top that I loved during primary school, I thought it made me look so cool and mature, until I went to secondary school. Suddenly the top made me feel childish and I could not wear it anymore. Your environment really influences you style. I still get most of my style inspiration from people around me.”
“One of my favourite fashion memories is our last end of the year party at our primary school. I felt so beautiful wearing jeans with a chain on the side and a white off-the-shoulder top. I had even dyed my hair. I remember that you wore a pretty sparkly dress, funny how we have always contrasted so much.”

Hope you enjoyed this post, anything I forgot to ask that you would like to know? Leave it as a comment! 

Free Downloadable Nutrient Chart (Vegan!)

Nutrient chart heathy food vitamins

I have created a free downloadable nutrient chart that now proudly sits on my fridge. As a vegetarian I have had many people warn me about not getting enough nutrients in, something I would wave off without a second thought. Now that I am looking into veganism the warnings seem even more severe and I realised I knew nothing about nutrition. My dad is a chef so I have a pretty good gage on what is healthy and what is not but I wanted to delve in further and see if I really did eat as healthily as I thought I did, whether going vegan would cause any problems and if I my diet was lacking anything.

So I created this chart. It lists all the main nutrients and what plant based foods are good sources of them. Having all the ingredients laid out made me realise just how much choice there is for vegans and how restricted I have been eating. Some nutrients are hard to avoid others are hard to come by; B12 being an extreme case. My sources seemed to disagree about whether sea vegetables are a source, some even saying you can’t find a plant based source for B12. I am not sure who to believe but either way after hearing dietitian Lisa Steltenpool talk about the dangers of B12 deficiency, I am going to look for some good supplements. I am up for recommendations. (Not just good advice for vegans, meat-eaters have been known to be low on B12 too!)
Nutrient chart heathy food vitamins

In order to make sure I get everything in, I have stuck the chart on my fridge and coated it with a plastic layer, this way I can check off what I have eaten and get a good overview of what I should try and get in. So far this chart has already given me a few ideas for meals to make!Nutrient chart heathy food vitamins

It is important to note that I am in no way an expert in nutrition and that all the information comes from sources I found online that seemed reputable. The nutritional chart is definitely not a strict guide on what to eat, for one, it doesn’t consider necessary intake. I’ll be using it to make sure I eat a bit of everything on a weekly basis but the main reason I made it was just to educate myself a little and I would encourage everybody to do some research of their own. 

Nutrient chart heathy food vitamins

PS: DLG stands for dark leafy greens, think spinach, lettuce and kale

For the Love of DIY

So this was originally going to be a post on what a leather guy can do for you, what your options are and how to ask for something in a way that will get you exactly what you want. This is not what this post turned out to be for one simple reason, we did it ourselves. In one afternoon two girls with a set of tools updated a bag, repaired two straps, resized a belt, made some shorts and rediscovered what DIY is about.
The plan was to give Megan’s lovely bag a bit of custom flair by adding a little belt as two chains on the side. Using a belt made out of a similar material, we plied open the metal rings slipped the excess bits off and applied the belt to the bag. It was surprisingly easy and I cannot believe we considered paying someone to do this.
It looks so good! So two lessons learned, first if you  If you are ever tired of the look of an item see if you can jazz it up first. Add something you have laying about or snip something off, scary at first but the successes are thrilling and energising!
Secondly do not be scared of just trying something, before you spend money replacing items, getting them repaired or altered have a think. Could I do this? Instead of cycling down to the leather guy, leaving the bag behind and having to pay for the alteration to be done, we just grabbed some tools and had a go. You save time and money and get to make sure it is done right. The way to get exactly what you want is to do it yourself.
DIY Upcyle bag handbag chains fashion update
And Voilà! Here is the updated look with Megan as my lovely model! Doing this simple task I really felt like I rediscovered the magic of DIY. Because of the burst of energy this has given me I’ll be taking on some bigger DIY projects next. Creating something custom for no money at all is such a good feeling, I would love to know about any projects you have taken on or where you get your creative energy from! 
DIY Upcyle bag handbag chains fashion update

Girl's summer holiday in Croatia

I love summer, everything is happier and beautiful when the sun is out. This year I got to spend a week on a girls trip to Hvar, Croatia. In the pictures below we are all wearing Nobody’s Child a brand I have recently discovered and am telling everybody about; their clothing is ethically manufactured, super cute and at a price point anybody can afford. I recommend checking out their gorgeous Instagram account. Habba and Seema posted more pictures of our trip on their blogs!

Croatia summer fashion girls HVAR Milna BFF
Croatia summer fashion girls HVAR Milnasummer best friend croatia trip vacation holiday BFF
Sunset Milna maxi dress summer picture floral hvar girls
Sunset Milna maxi dress summer picture floral hvar
summer best friend croatia trip vacation holiday Croatia summer fashion girls HVAR Milna

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