winter

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

Creatively Surviving Winter

During the winter I always find myself wanting to cuddle up in a warm jumper, and preferably stay in bed. Besides being practically impossible, it is also a great way to kill your creative output. So to help keep your creative production levels up, I decided to compile a short list of things which will help when the weather is much less than encouraging.

1

Besides a heater, this is the ultimate way to avoid freezing. Personally I use mine constantly, as I will be able to keep warm even at my desk. It is one of the ultimate indispensable items for me, ranking almost as high as my laptop.

2

Through personal experience I know that a large sketchbook is somewhat a chore to carry around, and thus remaining empty. However on a small sketchbook you can even draw while in bed, on the sofa, or wherever. So really there is no excuse any more.

3

This is probably the most important one. In the cold winter days it’s almost easier to procrastinate than to slip on a butter covered floor! To avoid the need to return to bed after the warm tea, it’s best not to be wearing your pyjamas to further distance yourself from temptation.

4

You guessed it, right now I’m wearing a pair of fuzzy gloves which I refuse to take off until I absolutely need to. Although this really depends on what you are doing, it’s a good way to not having your fingers almost fall off while trying to do something.

5

It is impossible to get anything done if you don’t have a single target. Now is the time to embark on new projects and plan new things. If this doesn’t work to get you motivated you can always use them as a reminder on what you should be doing.

6

The miracle worker! A cup of tea keeps me warm while not really taking my mind off what I’m doing. I use it as a sort of treat to get my incentives going.

RunWays with Scarves

“RunWays with…” will be one of our more fashion-oriented regular posts, where we pick an item from our favourite runway show, and suggest how you can apply this to your wardrobe.

This month I picked supersize scarves based on the Chanel Fall / Winter 2013-2014 Ready-to-Wear collection. Scarves are quite an easy way to make an outfit stand out. Oversize scarves can be more than this though, they are somewhat of an upgrade to your usual scarf that is sure to make more of a statement, and can quickly turn your everydays into more sophisticated outfits. Needless to say, they will also give you extra cosiness in the winter months, and can be worn in a multitude of ways.

runways1

Top Left: My personal favourite and a classic way to wear a scarf; just wrap one side around your neck and shoulders, and let the other side fall freely at the front.
Top Right: Just tie your oversize scarf at the front in a chunky knot and let both fall at the front.

Bottom: If you love scarves but hate all the flimsiness, this is the method for you; just throw both ends behind your shoulders, and you will get a snood-like shape at the front.

runways2

Left: A similar front knot like we have seen above, but tied more loosely, just as chic, but more laid back. There’s just something really cool about ultra long scarves flowing at the front (make sure you don’t get tangled in anything though!)

Right: I love this idea of mixing two similarly patterned scarves together. This method can also work with other types of scarves.

runways3

A more structured / put-together girly look; tying your scarf into a bow (this also works beautifully but in a different way with smaller silky scarves). Just fix the bow with a pretty brooch or a quirky one.
runways4

And here are some snaps from Pinterest that can give you a better idea of what sort of oversize scarves you can wear, and what clothing and accessories go with them.

Mulled Wine

Whether or not Christmas is your thing, it’s hard to resist a hot glass of mulled wine, especially in this chilly weather. Mulled wine is great for sharing with friends or family, or as  I like to do sometimes, have a glass while in bed watching a movie. It helps me keep warm and sleep better.

Mulled wine is a traditional alcoholic Christmas drink which is easy to make and also very enjoyable. It is served hot, and it is by far the easiest way to survive the winter. It is very rarely served in wine glasses, as one runs the risk of cracking them because of the high temperature. Instead it is usually served in thicker tumbler glasses or chunky mugs.

Do not bother buying expensive bottles of wine for this recipe, you can use the cheaper kind. The spices and orange can work their magical goodness on anything. I am constantly making mulled wine throughout the winter, and not even a sip was ever left in the bottle. Even a couple of my friends who are not really fans of wine find this recipe easy to drink as it is quite sweet.

Ingredients

750 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon

1/2 cup sugar (You can use brown sugar if you prefer)

Juice from a whole orange

2 table spoons orange zest

1/2 teaspoon aniseed

2 cinnamon sticks

5 whole cloves

IMG_4327 copyIMG_4338 copy

Method

Pour the wine into a deep pan, and add orange juice and sugar.

On a small square piece of thin cloth, put aniseed, zest, cloves and cinnamon, and tie with a clean string.

Place it in the wine mixture.

Heat while covered until boiling.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pass through a sieve to have a smooth drink.

Serve with a small slice of orange.

 

Now put on your coziest jumper, pour yourself a glass and enjoy.

IMG_4348 copyIMG_4369 copyIMG_4378 copyIMG_4403 copy

Halloween with Design Sorbet

Malta has joined the celebration of Halloween only recently . If you go back a few years, you would have only found the occasional costume party here and there, but now lit up pumpkins in the windows and ‘trick or treating’ seemed to have found their place in our culture as well. Here at Design Sorbet we want to share the celebration of Halloween with you by sharing our autumnally experience at the pumpkin fest (‘Festa tal-Qara`Ahmar’ as we call it in Malta).

This Festival is being organised yearly at Manikata by the Koperrativa Rurali Manikata and the Manikata Parish Church, with the support of the Mellieha Local Council. Although we arrived late, in the rain and most of the stands where closing down, this event was still a worthy visit. It was enough just to see all the wet pumpkins still on farm carts, stands and in the streets with the rain pouring on them. It was quite a scene. You could smell the first smells of winter and the grey weather was just appropriate for the weekend before Halloween. We were also lucky enough to find two stands still open and I bought a quirky jar of pumpkin jam and two pumpkins. I couldn’t resist and as soon as I came home I started to work on a pumpkin soup (following my mum`s recipe) and kept the other one to carve or to draw on for this Wednesday.

If you still haven’t had any time to look up any pumpkin recipes or pumpkin carving ideas. I’ve done the job for you. Here’s something you can try out:

Mum`s Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 kilo and a half pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 medium onions
  •  2 large potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 medium orange (4 tablespoons)
  • Pinch of salt and fresh pepper    

   Method:  

  1. Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil, in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Combine the onion, garlic, pumpkin chunks, chicken broth, potato cubes, orange juice and cinnamon  in a large saucepan. Cook slowly for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, leave to cool for few minutes and purée the soup with a hand blender.
  4. Garnish with fresh cream and herb of your choice. Add a drizzle of honey (optional).
  5.  Serve  in a blue bowl:) Accompanied with warm toasted bread and a glass of wine (maybe a Chardonnay or a  Pinot Noir).

Other similar dishes:

http://allrecipes.com/howto/pumpkin-recipes/detail.aspx?src=mer645

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ray-villafane-159286

http://www.thekitchn.com/10-ways-to-make-pumpkin-soup-recipe-roundup-179019

http://imenudibenedetta.blogspot.com/2011/12/capesante-con-crema-di-zucca.html

Pumpkin carving ideas:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/inspiration-pumpkin-displays-98319

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/unique-pumpkin-carving-ideas-c-68338

http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2011/10/28/63-mindblowing-halloween-pumpkin-carvings-picture-gallery/