Sunday, 20 July 2014

THE DOTING DAUGHTER

I try to be.....


After 40 years of committing to his job and working for the same company since leaving school, my dad decided to hang up his boots and retire in March 2014. Is it out of the ordinary for a daughter to envy their pensioner father? I don’t mean to wish my life away but I do relish the idea of discarding my alarm clock and having a life which revolves around deciding each day what I can do to occupy all my spare time – where week days and weekends all roll in to one.

Four months in to his retirement and my dad is still living the life of 'riley' and often preaches that he still feels like he is on holiday; however, I have made it my duty to ensure that he doesn't sink into the deep depths of some of the negative stereotypes that are out there about retirees: that pensioners get up, eat, read the paper, sleep, watch TV, sleep etc.

Dementia has been in the news recently because future projections suggest that the number of people with dementia will double in the next 40 years, and increasing age is a well-known risk factor. There is some evidence to suggest that rates of the disease are lower in people who remain as mentally, physically and socially active as possible throughout their lives, as well as among those who enjoy a wide range of different activities and hobbies. For this reason, I've always attempted to keep my parents' mind, body and soul stimulated, but particularly my dad during his retirement. The most recent thing I have done is treat him to some golf lessons for his birthday; isn't that the kind of sport old, retired men do (sorry pops)?

He had his first personal golf lesson this week, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and I decided to accompany him, Zatchels satchel in tow. I’m just considering what else I can get him involved in now – any ideas welcome, we've got to keep our old folks on the ball?








I even tried my hand at a spot of golf too - I won't tell you how many swings it took for me to actually hit the freakin' ball


We finished the lesson with a well-deserved drink!
Later x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

THE SUITCASE EDIT

The items that didn't make it

Lake Como, Italy




There is one stage in the whole holiday preparation process that I’d love to just completely delete: packing! I get excited when I book the holiday and I enjoy buying new things in advance of it, but I loathe deciding what to pack because there is always that anxiety of packing too much and exceeding the baggage allowance restriction, coupled with trying to decipher whether I will miss not having a particular item of clothing or accessory if I choose not to pack it.

Some of you will know that I took a short break to Lake Como last week. I was adamant that I didn't want to pay Flybe any additional fees to transport my luggage - I'm way too frugal for that, and I also wanted to keep my luggage with me in the plane's cabin rather than place it in the hold; the implication of this, however, was I had to take my smallest suitcase and thus be very selective with what I packed; cue the suitcase edit. Two of my most recent purchases did not make the suitcase edit - my Kurt Geiger heels and my Mulberry Lily. These 5-inch heels and tiny bag were just too impractical for a Lake Como vacay; I knew there would be a lot of walking and long days doing what tourists do, so what would be the point in having them unnecessarily occupy space in an already protuberant suitcase.

There is one other thing I try to avoid wearing when I’m abroad, especially if the temperature is tropical, and that’s black clothing. Can you see the theme of this week’s ‘photo shoot’?

What are your holiday packing strategies, if any?





Later x

Saturday, 5 July 2014

I'VE GOT 99 PROBLEMS

and the Mulberry Lily is one

Mulberry Lily -
On sale in Harvey Nichols and House or Fraser


If you follow me on Instagram, you are probably aware that I added a beautiful new piece to my growing bag ‘collection’: the Mulberry Lily. I wasn't particularly on the lookout for a cross-body bag as my Zatchels satchels take care of that function, however during my window shopping expedition in House of Fraser a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a black leather Mulberry Lily and did the worst thing a shopaholic with a penchant for bags can do……I tried it on (and posted me posing with it on Instagram). From that moment, I knew it was more a case of when this beauty would grace my wardrobe rather than if.

A few weeks later I went back to House of Fraser because I knew they had a sale on; I bought my last Mulberry in the House of Fraser sale so I thought it might be an omen that I attend their sale event. The bag was staring at me right under the 30% off sign; the unique colour drew me in and, without hesitation, justified its purchase – bish bash bosh, before I knew it the lovely lady on the till was giving me back my credit card and handing over my new bag with a smile.

I decided that a shopping day and lunch in town last week would be an ideal occasion to début the Lili, however, fairly quickly I realised there was a problem, a problem I didn't consider when I purchased it: this bag was not going to hold half the things I would usually carry on a day out, a Mulberry Willow or Bayswater would have probably been a better investment. Am I disappointed that I spent all this money on such an impractical bag – what do you think? In my eyes it’s still a perfectly sexy bag and I have plenty of larger bags to rely on; who cares about practicalities, have you seen my 5-inch heels? Where there’s a will, there’s a way *wink*.

          ____________________________

My handbag essentials for a day out:

-Food: water and nuts in case I get thirsty or peckish
-Cosmetics: Hand cream; hand sanitiser; hair brush; mirror, tissues
-Purse – of course
-Phone – of course
-Business cards in case I bump in to someone influential or a potential client
-A book -  in case I find myself dining alone
-Sunglasses case so that I can actually avoid breaking my latest pair
-Perfume – you never know when you could meet Mr Right!

What are your handbag essentials?






Later x

Sunday, 29 June 2014

I'M A DOMESTIC GODDESS

Well trying to be



People often assume that because I’m a nutritionist and foodie I like to spend most of my time in the kitchen utilising my culinary skills, standing over a hot stove and baking healthy, nutritious treats, but I’m not a chef; I don’t love cooking and baking, and the thought of hosting a gourmet dinner party for a group of friends or family unnerves me, however I do like to eat healthy, unprocessed food and this often requires me to opt for home-cooked meals or be really savvy when eating out.

Okay, so in my last paragraph I said I don’t ‘love’ cooking, this is not to say I hate it, I don’t mind it at all, it’s just I wouldn't call it a hobby or pastime, more of a necessity to achieve my health goals. Consequently, when I am cooking, particularly from a recipe, I choose healthy meals/foods that I can cook easily and quickly. If a recipe has a lengthy list of ingredients (especially ingredients that I do not commonly use) or fiddly step by step instructions, I avoid making that dish.

Weekend mornings are the time when I tend to experiment with different healthy, foodie ideas and I recently bought the ‘Eat Your Way to Lower Cholesterol’ cook-book to discover some new and tasty dishes. I don’t have high cholesterol, but I like how simple but nutritious the recipes are. One of the dishes I’m really enjoying at the moment is eggs with spicy tomatoes and beans. It’s a versatile dish that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner; it’s low in fat, sugar and salt, and it is high in fibre and protein which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and best of all it’s quick and easy to make. 



I didn't strictly follow the recipe because I don’t like hot, peppery, chilli dishes so I just omitted the spicy ingredients, and I wanted to use foods that I already had in my cupboard.

INGREDIENTS
2 eggs
Half tin of beans
Half tin of butter beans (in water, not sugar or salt)
Onion
Tomatoes
Tomato puree
Virgin olive oil
Paprika
Basil or parsley for
(for spice you could add chilli and peppers)

INSTRUCTIONS
-Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and paprika and continue to fry for a further 2 minutes until softened.

-Stir in the beans and butter beans until hot, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring regularly and allowing the tomato and bean mixture to reduce.

-Crack the eggs directly on to the tomato and beans mixture and leave to cook until the egg whites are firm. I prefer my yolk to be firm too so I tend to cook it a little bit longer.

-Garnish with basil or parsley and serve immediately.

-Lick your lips, give yourself a pat on the back - feel full (and smug) till your next planned meal!








More foodie picks on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Later x

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Summer Whites

Not just for Wimbledon




I’m not an avid fan of tennis generally, but I do take an interest in the British players at The Wimbledon Championships - Wimbledon being the oldest tennis tournament in the world and widely considered the most prestigious. I've never been to a Wimbledon tournament but given the unlikelihood of me securing a seat within the centre-court stadium, I’m quite content to watch it on television in the comfort of my own home and undoubtedly with a better view; sitting on Henman Hill has never appealed to me, especially with my pollen allergies!

So of course there are a number of Wimbledon traditions, two of which I have paid homage to this weekend: the strict dress code for the competitors to wear predominantly all-white, and the eating of strawberries and cream by the spectators; I’m not keen on cream on strawberries and that has nothing to do with me being a fanatical nutrition health freak.

Wearing an all-white outfit is a far cry from my usual get-up of black or dark hues, but this weekend I donned the white Zara slim-fit jeans, which are the most comfortable slim fit jeans I own (a high percentage of elastane makes all the difference, right?), and my simple white cotton vest top from Oasis. Conventional wisdom holds that you should only wear all-white to your wedding, but given I have no intention of getting married I've decided to reject this old-fashioned style edict. I think a fresh all-white ensemble is a classic summer trend and I would suggest when it comes to clothes the looser the better on very hot days - breezy white linen is my usual preference, and of course a pop of colour never hurts.

If you’re a Wimbledon fan, enjoy the next two weeks of tennis action.





Jeans  Zara
Top  Oasis
Wedges Jones
Bag Kate Spade at Bicester
Later x

Monday, 16 June 2014

NutriShion

A new business name




If you follow me on Twitter, you will have possibly noticed that I have changed my business name from Forcailini Nutritional Styling to NutriShion. Most of you will know that I run a nutrition consultancy and because of my penchant for shopping and fashion I decided to incorporate a complementary personal styling/shopping service as well – the business slogan being ‘Look First-rate, Feel Great!’.

I started out only providing nutrition services for women, and thus I felt the name Forcailini (see last paragraph of the About page here for the meaning if you don't know already) had an appropriate fit, however, over time I introduced the fashion side of the business (personal styling/shopping) and also started providing nutrition advice to men, so I decided to change the name to something that more closely reflected my clientèle: NutriShion, which, if you haven’t worked it out already, is an amalgamation of the words nutrition and fashion.

I toyed with the idea of changing my blog name and Instagram account, but with further consideration I decided I did not want to part with my Forcailini brand and actually saw this as a nice opportunity to separate aspects of my business from the personal activities I do as a pastime. You never know, you might now see a few more risqué snaps on the blog and Instagram -  *wink* (don’t get too excited, I’m joking…….I think?).

The reason for this blog post was not actually to promote my business, but to put down in writing something I was thinking about over the weekend. I attended the Blognix event in Birmingham, which is a blogging conference that enables attendees to learn more about blogging, connect with other bloggers and be inspired by other bloggers' stories. I attended chiefly because it was a national blogging conference based in Birmingham - that’s rare……. so I wanted to show my support, and of course I always appreciate a new piece of wisdom, particularly with things I’m involved in.


Blognix was a great event, but what captivated me was the focus on making money from your blog: being able to go freelance; monetising your blog; negotiating brand collaborations; and even doing tax returns for your blog were the main themes of the day. I've never really looked at my blog as a potential money-making machine, I've always just relied on my 9-5 work to pay the bills and buy myself some of life’s little luxuries, but I was quite surprised and inspired to hear just how many people make a living from their blog. I think I've perhaps been a little ignorant as I assumed it was only a select few, the fash-pack, the super-bloggers, the 500,000 hits a month folk who ran successful blogging businesses. It has left me questioning though the real purpose of blogging: what do people get out of it if they are not making money; is your goal to profit from your blog; and what really determines the success of a blog?

Below is one of the worksheets from a workshop I attended -  I found it quite thought provoking. Perhaps you could note down a few aspects of your reader profile in the comments section; I'd love to read them.



Later x

Monday, 9 June 2014

QUAINTRELLE

That's me........








I’ll be honest, the word 'quaintrelle' hadn't entered my vocabulary until I came across its definition on Instagram the other day, and now it's embedded in my mind because, well, who doesn't want to be a quaintrelle -  'a woman who emphasises a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures', apparently (according to Wikipedia).

In fitting with the noun I decided to post a few images from my recent Paris trip (above) for you fellow quaintrelles, which capture some of the elements of the definition, and some of my life’s pleasures and leisurely pastimes: fashion, style, shopping, window-shopping, food, eating out, travel and, of course, occasionally being a little pretentious.

One of my most recent fashion/style purchases are my Dune heels which I bought in the shopping mecca that is, Selfridges; I decided not to take them to Paris simply because of their height – roaming helplessly around Paris, without a car, in these 4-inchers did not appeal to me, but I've been wearing them non-stop since I've been back. This is how I have incorporated them in to my 'personal style'.







Bowler Hat - Topshop
Skirt - old
Shoes - Dune at Selfridges

Later x