A wee bit fabulous, with lifestyle editor Mhairi Clarke

Published: 7 Mar 2014 16:000 comments

BEAUTY, fashion, food, cocktails and advice with Mhairi Clarke.

Share this image

GET SUPERHERO SWISH

Alexa Chung could wear anything and still look fabulous but this ‘flutterby’ cape dress as worn at Milan Fashion week last week got the fash pack in a major flutter!

You can bet that there’ll be a replica on the high streets within the next week or so (remember how quickly Tesco’s F & F created the replica of Kate Middleton’s Issa engagement dress…within a week!) but if you can’t wait until then, you might fancy a twirl in this.

Asos Cape Dress, £35 – Available in black and white

www.asos.com

It’s official, capes are back and you don’t need to be a superhero to get your swish on!

CLEAR YOUR WAY TO A HAPPY HOME

Ever feel that there’s something bothering you but you can’t quite put your finger on it? Feeling a bit stuck in a rut and overwhelmed by a sense of needing to sort things out but having no time and knowing that things are building up all around you? Yes? I am totally 100% with you there.

We are often so busy with daily living that we don’t notice the bits and bobs that have accumulated around us, taking up valuable space and generally niggling away at us because they’re just ‘there’.

The newspaper you still haven’t got round to reading. The loose batteries, screwdrivers, Lego men and plastic bags in the kitchen drawer. The Tupperware beast sprawling and toppling from your cupboard on to your head.

Clutter – the accumulation of “stuff”. The stuff that needs to be tackled, organised or chucked that you know is there, hiding and chipping away at your soul!

De-cluttering is the best rebalancing tool available and it doesn’t cost a thing. It improves your sense of wellbeing instantly and restores all that wonderful positivity that’s been “stuck”! It’s the equivalent of going on a diet and reaching your target weight.

It can be overwhelming and the voices in your head may tell you to “run away” or “throw it in, close the door and then run away” but a little bit of decluttering can restore your calm, positivity and energy levels and make your home a cleaner, happier place. Happy home, happy person.

My tips for decluttering

One room at a time

Overwhelmed? No wonder! It can’t all be done in a day. Do it in bite size chunks. Grab yourself a pile of cardboard boxes and do one room in a day. Whatever doesn’t belong in that room goes in the cardboard box. Then you can decide whether it stays, or whether it goes! Imagine the feeling of having a place for everything and everything in its place. For me, that’s nirvana!

Crack an egg

You can’t make an omelette without cracking an egg. Be prepared for a mess. If you’re doing your bedroom, haul everything out of your wardrobe and put it all on the bed. Yes, you’ll feel like crying when you see a mountain of clothes that you rarely wear but stay with it. Imagine how you’ll feel the next day when you open the wardrobe and sweep your hand across all your clothes, hanging beautifully, with space around them (and hung by colour if you’re me…).

Like with like

Be practical and think logically. Store like with like, for example keep all batteries in one place so you know where to go for a new one and with the amount of technology in homes nowadays, there’s barely a day goes by without a call for new batteries. Keep the belongings in the room where they are used. Sounds simple, but I bet you you’ll come across a few random items in each room in your house and wonder how on earth they got there. I have a whole Lego family living under my bed…

Be ruthless!

We could attach sentimental value to everything we own, but unfortunately, we just don’t own houses big enough for that kind of chaos! If you don’t love it or use it, throw it. It’s taking up valuable space in your home. Breathe! Let it go!

Hold your horses

Tempting as it is to run out and bulk buy pretty storage boxes before you’ve started Operation Declutter, I’m afraid the fun bit comes after the pain! Sort your trash from your treasure first, work out what you’re keeping and where it’s going and then look at what storage solutions you need or else you’ll clutter up your house again with boxes that have no purpose. Been there, done it.

Don’t beat yourself up

Ok – so you didn’t wear these shocking pink suede strappy heels, despite feeling a little Carrie Bradshaw like when you tried them on but don’t beat yourself up too much. Learn what clothes suit you, decide on your style and don’t be tempted by crazy buys! They always, always end up in a pile of junk on the way to the charity shop. Face the pain of knowing that you spent money on clothes, shoes, items that just don’t do it for you anymore and get rid of them, knowing that you will feel soooo much better! Freecycle and eBay for unwanted items you want to sell, www.stuffusell.co.uk if you can’t be bothered doing it yourself (they’ll collect your goods, sell for you and give you 20% commission), charity shop for some things and don’t forget you can make some money on your child’s outgrown clothing at The Clothes Tree, the UK’s online dedicated online children’s nearly new boutique.

Relax

Enjoy the feeling of a relaxing, cooking, cleaning and living in a clutter free environment where there’s a place for everything and everything is easily put in its place. Feel restored, calm, leveled out and balanced knowing that you controlled the clutter and are back in charge of your home!

COCKTAIL HOUR - AMARETTO SOUR

This ladies is one of the most drinkable substances that will ever pass your lips. One is never enough, two is about right. A classic cocktail, the authentic version calls for an egg white but that’s entirely up to you. Fabulous with, or without. Making the lemon twist is supereasy. Take a slice of lemon, cut almost in half all the way up to the rind on the other side, cut the pulp off the peel so you have a long strip of peel and twist the peel round your finger into a curly twist shape.

Ingredients (serves 1):

2 x 25 ml shots Amaretto

1 lemon, juice only

¼ sugar syrup (7ml approx.)

½ egg white

1 cherry

1 lemon twist

Method:

Put the Amaretto lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake.

Pour into a tumbler filled with ice and decorate with a cherry and a lemon twist.

A cosy cocktail with a zing for pre-Spring!

Jump to first paragraph.

Comments

Have your say - post a comment on this article

Registered users log in here
If you are registered with us, you can login here. If you are not registered, please do so now. Once logged in you wont have to complete word verification each time you post.