Thursday, 24 March 2011

Too many clothes...a solution!

I sometimes find (okay, more than sometimes)...Rephrase and start again.  I have too many clothes.  Too many in the sense that:
  1. I have bought things that I have never worn.
  2. I have bought things and worn them once.
  3. I have things I used to wear, but don't wear, but still have.
I wanted to find a way to 'rationalise' my wardrobe, by assessing and monitoring what I actually wear, from what just hangs in my wardrobe.

Use a piece of ribbon....
I have a piece of ribbon, it doesn't have to be ribbon, it could be string, it could be a strip of material.  Here's what you do.

Go to your wardrobe, locate your clothes, move them all to the left hand side of the wardrobe and find yourself a gap on the rail.  Have you found one?  Push them a bit further if you can't.  When you've got that gap on the rail, tie on the ribbon, in a bow, double bow, knot, something that's secure and won't untie or fall off, but you should be able to slide it along the rail.

When that's done, choose a timescale, 3 months is probably not enough, but 3 years is too long.  If you have a summer and winter set of clothes then 6 months is probably fine.  When you've decided on the timescale - do the maths and work out the date, mine will be on or around 8th April.  Now write on your calendar: Wardrobe check!

Now we begin...
When you dress for work, going out, leisure etc, select your clothes from your wardrobe (as normal) and enjoy wearing them.  Wash them (as normal), Dry them (as normal), Iron them (if you really must) and hang them on coat hangers. But when you go to hang them in your wardrobe, hang your clean clothes on the right hand side of your ribbon.

As the weeks go by, you'll be taking clothes from the left and right of the ribbon, wearing, washing and re-hanging on the right of the ribbon.

What you'll find is that you'll have a load of clothes hanging on each side of your ribbon.

Wardrobe Check!
When you reach your wardrobe check date, all you need to do is look to the clothes in your wardrobe, anything that is hanging up on the left hand side of your ribbon has not been worn for the last 6 months and tells you that you don't actually need it, want it or like it enough to be worn. 

Left = Leave

You should therefore do the decent thing and set it free, recycle it, give it to charity, a friend - but get rid of it!!

How is it working for me?
So far so good, I can see a handful of skirts that haven't been worn in the last 6 months, but the weather is picking up and I can see myself wearing one or two skirts for work in the next week or so.  But I'm prepared to let go of things if they don't get worn.

Hope it works for you!

10 Things I did this week: 15th-21st Mar

  1. Mr Lisa made a curry from the Madhur Jaffrey Ultimate Curry Bible - I'm so glad he got it for Christmas, he's cooked the best curries I've had.
  2. I booked an event to sell my Phoenix Cards at: Cullercoats Community Centre 2nd April 2011.
  3. Have 2 pairs of black knee high boots in my possession, I'm trying to buy a new pair.  I've finally chosen the 'lucky pair' - which are a pair of Dr Martens from Scorpio Shoes - bought online and delivered next day (free delivery & free returns! - bargain)
  4. Borrowed a pair of walking boots from a colleague.  I don't possess a pair of walking boots and need some for my walking holiday in June.  The plan is that I borrow these boots, have a practise for my walking holiday and possibly buy something similar.
  5. Went to a suprise birthday party at Silk Room, Newcastle.  It was pitched as a 'Champagne Bar & Restaurant' - but it was more restaurant than bar.  The food was great, the service a little ropey (a between-course palate cleansing champagne sorbet was forgotten).  However, the birthday girl, Helen, seemed to enjoy herself and Michy had organised birthday cake too.
  6. Met up and had dinner with The Lively Ladies, all 5 of us met up: Catherine, Gillian, Caroline, Sophia and Susan - had a really good catch up and discussed Gillian's birthday cake (I'm building her some beach huts (out of cake)).
  7. Went for a long walk - details recorded on Endomondo here and Endomondo here, stopped at Holywell Dene and watched the birds: blue tits, great tits, coal tits, a dunnock, a robin, and a nuthatch, then further on a long-tailed tit.
  8. Planted more stuff in the greenhouse at home, see my other blog for the lowdown.
  9. Got into work before 8.30am for the first time this year, the sunny early mornings are really helping me get up and out of bed.  My bodyclock seems to wake me before the 6.45am alarm.
  10. Bought a Groupon voucher for a 1hr horse riding lesson (8.50 instead of £18) - I now need to book it in - I'm quite excited!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Restaurant Review: Silk Room, Bankside, Trinity Gardens, Nr Quayside, Newcastle

Silk Room
Bankside, Trinity Gardens, Nr Quayside, Newcastle
Saturday 19th March 2011, 7pm
This was one place I hadn't heard of, so when I was invited there for a suprise birthday party I was keen.  Pitched as a 'Champagne bar and restaurant' I was intrigued, I'd never been to a champagne bar, let alone a champagne restaurant and wouldn't have normally chosen this kind of place to eat.

It's located along from Cafe 21 and Cafe Vivo, just behind the Law Courts and near Live Theatre, Silk Room is small and unassuming.  Not the grand place I was expecting.  Inside, it was more restaurant than bar, and not what I imagined.  The space felt small, partly because of the free-standing screens used to create different sized spaces and separate diners, and also the tassle-curtains they had hung from the ceiling.  Lighting was low, to create a 'sophisticated' atmosphere, it didn't help when trying to read the drinks menu.  The couple who were seated next to the screen that separated the toilets/kitchens seemed to get shoved everytime someone came from the kitchens.

We were a party of 18 and went for the Group Dinner menu, the staff were very attentive and our pre-ordered food was brought out for each person by name, which was great.  Apparently they 'forgot' the between course palatte cleanser (champagne sorbet) which was a bit of a disappointment, but all in all the food was of a good quality and filling too, I chose pate followed by chicken (a huge breast) stuffed with sundried tomatoes and mustard/cream sauce and champagne sorbet for dessert, and birthday cake.  The bill came to £36 per person, which was pretty reasonable too.

Would I go again? Probably not, it was too dark, too hot and felt too close to the other diners.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

10 Things I did this week: 8th Mar-14th Mar

  1. Had my 33rd birthday.
  2. Took the day off work and went to Durham, spent the day looking round the Cathedral, mooching the streets, shopping & dinner at Oldfields.
  3. Met up with Laura & Rufus, had a little cuddle (of Rufus).
  4. Did some painting in the dining room (painted some of the walls) and then put some paint on my canvas.
  5. Made a pie & ate it, for National Pie Week, it was a chicken, leek, mushroom & broccoli pie.
  6. Made peppermint slices (like the ones I used to make at Lewis & Cooper, all those years ago).
  7. Broke open my Terramundi pot, counted £830 and a half-penny.
  8. Had Matthew over for the weekend: went swimming, played Super Mario Kart, played table football, did some experiments, wrestling, reading and bop-it!
  9. Planted some beans & peas, then settled them into my new greehouse.
  10. Still going to Acting Skills Class on Monday nights - rehearsing a short piece with Debra called 'The Next Mrs. Jacobson'

10 Things I did this week: 28th Feb-6th Mar

  1. Discovered a Dunnock, who sits on her hedge and sings to her whilst she has her breakfast. 
  2. Went on two staff development workshops in 2 days.
  3. Went to Leazes park and spent my lunchtime listening to the birds & enjoying the spring flowers
  4. Received our dining room sideboard, the last bit of furniture for the dining room.
  5. Visited mum & dad and played with her favourite nieces, Emily and Brook.
  6. Met up with Alison at La Boca, we'd not caught up in yonks!
  7. Asked my auntie to get me some flowers - and she didn't let me down (she works in a florists).
  8. Mr Lisa built my new lean-to greenhouse!
  9. Signed up to Cakebook 2011, and picked (yes picked) Bamburgh Castle to build in cake.
  10. Got an early birthday cake from her mum.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

10 Things I did this week: 21st-27th Feb

  1. Moved offices, not just along the corridor, across campus.
  2. Moved not just me, but 15 other staff too, making sure everything was labelled, logged and organised (because I'm good at that kind of thing).
  3. Missed my night class, because I was busy packing and sorting stuff for the aforementioned office move.  Bit annoying, because I enjoy my class.
  4. However, managed to accumulate a days-worth of flexi
  5. Took Friday 25th off as flexi and went to Manchester with mum, Leanne, Lynne, Cath, Norma and Louise.
  6. Surpassed myself in 'travelling light' taking 1 rucksack of stuff for Fri-Sun, everyone else had a 'trolley-dolly' bag or a ma-hoo-sive suitcase.
  7. Stayed in Britannia Hotel, courtesy of Tesco Clubcard points, nearly evicted at 1am, due to a Fire Alarm (which turned out to be a false alarm).
  8. Went to the Comedy Store, Fri 25th Feb and had a good proper belly laugh.
  9. Did a bit of shopping at the Trafford Centre, which is much easier to navigate than the MetroCentre.
  10. Watched the final episode of Rome Wasn't Built in a Day, on Channel 4, now I need something else to fill my Thursday evenings.

10 Things I did this week: 15th -21st Feb

  1. Did some training for my new part time Phoenix Trading business - a 2hr talk from a man from HMRC - to make sure we keep proper records and do our tax return correctly.
  2. Delivered my first catalogue (on a scratchbike) at lunchtime. & got an order followed the next day!
  3. Had a commission from a friend to make her 50th birthday cake in May!!
  4. Went to see White Lies at Carling Academy.
  5. Was a bit too close to a punch-up in the Carling Academy during White Lies gig (some pissed up kids).
  6. Had dinner out in town with Mr Lisa :)
  7. What I watch on telly: Rome Wasn't Built in A Day, University Challenge, The Hustle, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, Benidorm, Take Me Out (sad but true).
  8. Operation office move: progressing nicely (not yet moved).
  9. Cooked a gorgeous roast chicken and made a ginger and lime cheesecake to follow.
  10. Got a lovely home made Valentines card from Mr Lisa (I'd made him one too).

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Cafe Review: La Boca, 6 Princess Square, Newcastle upon Tyne

La Boca,
6 Princess Square, Newcastle
Tuesday 1st March 2011, 5.45pm 
A cosy little place hidden behind Newcastle City Library, it stays open later than the library cafe, sells great quality snacks, cakes, teas and coffees and is very reasonably priced.  They display and sell artwork and sculpture created by local artists, small and cosy and set out with cafe seating and some of those high-backed leather chairs (like you'd need a smoking jacket & brandy).  The staff make you feel welcome, not hurried or rushed, and nothing is too much trouble. 

I had a massive piece of chocolate brownie, it was fresh, goey and crunchy at the same time and tasted great with a fresh latte.

Would I go again? Definitely - YES, it's one of those lesser known 'gems' in town where you can get a seat, a good coffee & a cake(for 2) and still have change from a tenner.