summer

Mid-season wardrobe therapy

“Chunky and cosy” no longer sounds as good as “light and summery” during this time of year. Time to get those blacks and grays out of my sight and bring out the summer dresses. But before packing my winter clothes away and taking out my summer ones, my aim for this summer is to get rid of a large chunk of my wardrobe, for peace of mind’s sake. I am donating some to friends, and the rest I will give to charity. I dream of a minimal wardrobe with only the things I love, and a little extra space for newly purchased clothes.

Getting rid of your clothes

When you’re in your teens you buy anything you fall in love with at first sight, whether it fits your body style and whether it is good or bad quality. It really doesn’t matter. As you start to reach your late twenties (like yours truly) you start to cringe at some of your purchases. I have been removing excess clothes year after year, but this year I want to outdo myself.

clothes

You hear a lot of advice about how to throw away stuff from your wardrobe, but unfortunately you cannot stick to one equation. If you really love your clothes, you have a story attached to each and every one of them. You know the exact time and place where you got them, and even the places that you wore them to, so it can be difficult to get rid of them (unless you’ve never worn them!) Then there are emotional attachments such as clothes belonging to family members, vintage clothing, clothes bought from awesome holidays abroad etc.. etc.. Emotional clothing that you never wear should just be stored away in a box somewhere. These are memories, not practical clothes, so they’re only taking up space in your wardrobe. As for other clothes that have no emotional attachment, I usually store them away for a season, or more (if I really cannot depart from them). If I don’t miss them, I donate them. If I miss them (and so far, I never did) I bring them back to the wardrobe.

My mum told me recently, “Don’t buy any new clothes unless you remove an item you already have.” I actually think this is one the best advice I’ve heard with regards to throwing away old clothes, plus when I get the courage to remove something, I end up removing more than one, which is good of course.

This year I have accepted that certain clothes that won’t fit me now will have to go. If I lose weight, it’ll be an excuse to buy new clothes. I have also accepted that clothes that do not suit my shape, no matter how expensive or beautiful they are, will be given away to friends who have a more suitable body type. Plus it’s nice to see one’s unused clothes being loved and worn by someone else!

wardrobe

My wardrobe mid-organisation.. still a long way to go

Organising

Prior to organising your wardrobe, make sure you have good storage boxes and good quality hangers (I like the wooden ones). It’s no use buying high quality clothes when you cannot take care of them properly. I usually treat my everyday / indoor clothes differently from the rest. Although I still fold them and store them neatly, I don’t like to show them off. I want to feel good when I look at my closet, so I want to look at my best clothes, not my crappy ones! A good idea is to put clothes that need fixing aside, this can be anything from missing buttons, broken zippers, even ironing.. and don’t hang them before they’re good to go.

magazines

Beautiful storage boxes to store away the little things.

Organise your clothes by occasion rather than by shape and item. It makes choosing outfits easier when you’re in a hurry.

Decide what to hang and what to fold wisely. Items such as jeans for instance, are good for folding, so don’t waste any hanging space on them. Other items might need ironing if folded, and certain tops lose their shape when hung. You usually know what to hang and what to fold by the way they are displayed in the store, but this is not always the case, and with online shopping it’s a complete guess. Although common sense should tell you whether the clothing material will wrinkle quickly or not.

accessories

The top drawer is great for organising accessories (although I still need to go through mine, sorting through accessories is another story altogether!) Bottom one is great for trousers that tend to crease, and delicate scarves.

glasses

Got most of these sunglasses for around 50 Euro cents form a car boot sale, old luggage/box also from the car boot sale, and it seemed the perfect place to store these.

Decorating

Some people like to decorate their closet and wardrobe by hanging jewelry and scarves to make it more feminine and decorative. I would be very careful because this process is exactly like setting up a still life or designing a display. When you see these kinds of things on magazines, they are done by a professional, so if you’re the kind of person who is prone to clutter, just put it all away, save for an item or two.

decor

This is my decorative corner, where I keep a fresh water pearl necklace; a gift from my mum, some purfumes, a Man Ray postcard and a frame that I got from ‘Patches’ a local hand-made & vintage market.

I’ve read tons of articles about how to organise one’s wardrobe and the phrase I keep reading over and over again is ‘Keep what makes you happy, throw away the rest.’ I think this sums up everything nicely; if you find yourself being annoyed at certain items, put them away for a while. It will clear your wardrobe, and your mind 🙂

giveaway

Detoxifying Drink: Cleanse and detox your body with this delicious and easy to make juice

This juice does not only cleanse your body but it is also packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals.  A   perfect drink for the  warm coming days, due to its colour, freshness and sweet taste.  The carrots and grapes provide plenty of natural sweetness, which match perfectly with the mild  pungent taste of the celery and the  crisp scent of   parsley. When juicing your herbs, do not remove their individual stalks since they are full of flavour and nutrients.  We suggest that you drink this juice regularly to give your system a complete clean-out and to  keep  light and fit, so you can feel more comfortable in  your favourite summer dresses and swimsuit.  Serve this drink cold and decorate with some celery sticks (to stir). Sip it on a deckchair by the pool while enjoying the sun and a favourite book or a magazine.

To make 1 large or 2 small glasses

Ingredients 

1 celery stick

300g/11oz carrots

150g/50z green grapes

several large sprigs of parsley

celery or carrot sticks, to serve

Method 

1. Using a sharp knife, roughly chop the celery, carrots and grapes through a juicer, then add the parsley sprigs. Add the remaining celery, carrots and grapes in the same way and juice until thoroughly combined.

2. Pour into one or two glasses and serve with celery or carrot stick stirrers.

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Enjoy other juices and smoothies recipes in this book: Juicing smoothies & blended drinks by Suzannah Olivier and Joanna Farrow

Other related links: http://my.blackmores.com.au/fitness-nutrition/detox-juices.html

http://www.thekitchn.com/5-healthy-juice-recipes-to-kickstart-your-new-year-182093

Rizzi

We have been meaning to get together and plan a ‘rizzi’ (sea urchin) meal since last summer, but you know how it is with planning these things, if you don’t set a date, they never happen! So we have finally done it last Thursday, albeit a few months late. The recipe actually uses thawed rizzi, since you can buy it frozen, but it’s always best to go for the fresh stuff if you can get it.  Sea Urchins are a traditional mediterranean seafood dish, very popular in Malta during the summer. A few years ago it was common to see locals by the sea picking rizzi and eating it with traditional Maltese bread, tomatoes, fresh mint, capers and a little bit of olive oil (why not). It is eaten raw and basically you just need to pick the yummy orange stuff with a small knife or a spoon. Nowadays rizzi are protected by legal notice, and you can only pick a few rizzi to eat there and then.

 

Here’s a couple of snaps of us from last summer, eating fresh rizzi from the crystal blue sea of Zurrieq.

If you’re looking to pick and eat fresh rizzi, make sure that you don’t eat the flat jet black rizzi (rather than a rounder dark brown). These flat ones are called ‘patrijiet’ which translates to ‘priests’ and they’re not edible.

So here we are a year and a half later with a rizzi recipe for you. We actually made some mixed seafood apart from the rizzi, and we used the exact same ingredients, we just divided the sauce half way through and cooked the rizzi & mixed seafood in individual pans.This is how to do it, but before you start, pour yourself a glass of white wine, it will make it much more enjoyable! (Bordeaux or Sparking Wine/Champagne goes well with rizzi, but even simple dry white wine will do the trick :))
Ingredients:
If you’re using frozen rizzi, one small container will serve three people
Garlic
Chilli (optional)
Fresh lemon juice
Fresh Parsley or Mixed Herbs
Couple of cherry tomatoes
Spaghetti or Bucatini (brown pasta if you prefer)

 

Method:
Fry garlic in olive oil until golden
Add cherry tomatoes in half or quarters
Bit of herbs and/or parsley
Throw in the lemon juice & chillies
Add a lug of white wine, lower the heat and leave to simmer for a bit
You can drop a pinch of salt and fresh pepper into the steaming pan according to taste
Serve with extra virgin olive oil

And of course, given our mediterranean appetite, we are never happy with just the main course, and this time we had some pretty good stuff to look forward to after the meal. We had some homemade cake, waffles and other sweets from Holland, and of course freshly brewed espresso to finish it off. 

Bonus Picture: Louise with an original Diana camera that Ruth found at her grandparent’s house! We’re hoping it still works 🙂  Stay tuned on a follow-up post on this newly found Diana camera!