Midlife Woman Syndrome

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Do you ever wonder how you can feel several emotions almost at the same time? You can be so joyful one moment and overwhelmed by fear or resentment the next. Yep, me too. I wish there was a name for it, a label or diagnosis. I fear that it could be midlife woman syndrome.

We are good at presenting one face to the world while inwardly groaning for all that disappoints and disrupts our flow, our peace. I am hoping that capturing those emotions, naming them and owning them will help me to deal with them. So in prayer, meditation and journal writing these emotions will be dealt with and the Midlife Woman Syndrome (MWS) acknowledged for what it is. All the best for your journey chasing your emotions.

Bullet Journal

Planning this year has been a journey, a bumpy adventure. I have gifted my lovely Adore planner to my girl and started again. R.E.W.I.N.D.
 have been playing with the Bullet Journal  developed by Ryder Carroll. Think BYO journal and pen, a basic knowledge of the bullet journal concept and I am off and away.

What do I love? So much. But in essence I love the flexibility. From a girl who loves journals, art journals and pen and paper this is fun. Stay tuned for more about this new adventure. Xx

Why you should uninstall Facebook iOS app

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So it is true. There are gremlins on my smartphone slowly draining it of life. According to Samuel Gibbs from The Guardian the Facebook app is draining your phone of life, well power anyway. He documents a short at home test that shows that the Facebook app is zapping life from his iphone, whereas the Facebook mobile site, accessed via Safari is both user friendly and not has demanding on your phone battery.

This news may not have made your day, as no lives were saved. But I am thankful that there are other interested people dedicating time to improving the tech tools we use and take for granted each day.

Midas Touch

Bling! I love a little bit of bling. I think it helps that there are hints of metallic everywhere this season, from clothes and shoes and right into the bedroom. I feel more relaxed about sporting these Midas lace up shoes in  metallic. The gold base works well with the silver and copper. And it has been a very ‘neutral’ shoe to wear with everything. Maybe gold is the new black?

Donna Hay Best Basic Speedy Brownie with a Twist

White Chocolate and Raspberry Brownie

Dear Donna,

Thank you for your ‘Donna Hay Basic and Speedy Brownie’.

I have been making this classic Brownie recipe for years but more recently have enjoyed tweaking it for special occasions. It is a forgiving brownie recipe that allows you to create your own chocolate adventure. It is perfect with raspberries and white chocolate, chopped Jersey Caramels, walnuts and cranberries, figs and hazelnuts, espresso coffee or crumbled chocolate mint biscuits. What I love about this recipe is that it is super easy, it uses all basic ingredients from the pantry.

It is a recipe that the kids cut their teeth on so to speak as they can make this with little supervision. So from us all at 7mouths2feed, thank you.

S x

PS. Here is the recipe:

Melt 250g butter and process with 1 1/3 cups sifted plain flour, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 3/4 cup sifted cocoa powder, 4 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a lined 20cm square cake tin and bake at 170degc for 40-50 minutes. I do make this quite often by hand and the batter  has a less ‘processed’ texture which I like. If you add extras, take care to watch the cooking time as you do not want to overcook the brownie. It will ‘set’ a little once cooled.

Brave New Wardrobe

 Marie Kondo’s  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up  challenged me to think differently about our stuff. I loved the idea of being restrained and more minimalist with my things and in particular with my clothes. Keep only those items that bring you joy. Now that is quite a difficult thing to apply to clothes – does this black long sleeve top bring me joy? Yes, I know. Joy may not be the right word here. Nonetheless the process does get you thinking does it fit well, does the fabric and style suit me, is it in the right colourway. It is also a timely reminder that any item that is home to a hole or stain or blemish of any size must simply go.

Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic outlines a way of organising your clothes into a 10 item wardrobe, with extras items allowed. Scott argues that defining your wardrobe with ten key pieces each season ensures you dress and present well. Yes, you may feel that your clothes are in high rotation but you will never wonder what should you wear because the choices will be simple. Take a peek at her TED talk.

So yes, I love Scott and Kondo’s ideas, but have I implemented them. I worked some Kondo magic on my wardrobe a year ago but much of the hard work has been undone. I am yet to adopt Scott’s approach to Chic, but I confess that I have a well established basic, neutral wardrobe. Recently I have been ruthless with the ‘some day clothes’ that I have been holding on to. Some day I will, some day they will fit, some day I might have an occasion….be gone some day clothes. I confess that process was helpful and a little therapeutic.

Australian Personal Brand Image Consultant Colette Werden introduced me to the ” The Ratio System™ –  a new simple way of dressing that helps achieve a longer, leaner silhouette, by creating “one third (torso), two third (leg)” proportion sizes on a woman’s body.”

 According to Werden a large Australian survey they conducted revealed that 53.7% of women want to camouflage their stomach the most, and 21.7% want to camouflage their thighs. The Ratio System™ does this effectively by removing the focus from these areas and instantly creating a flatter looking stomach, a longer, leaner leg line and perception of increased height.

I have also wanted more height and as I get wiser and longer in my years I know that dressing sensibly and striving for elegance and comfort is always best. So where does this leave me. Currently with an overstuffed wardrobe. I may need your help, a friend to accompany me on that journey of sorting and assessing, giving me the courage to let go of clothing that no longer works. Werden suggests there is a lot of negative energy/vibe/memory woven into our clothes. We keep things sometimes for the wrong reason and it is time we let go.

Can clothes make a person, transform them? It sounds so superficial but the bottom line is that they can give us the confidence to lead the life we want to lead, to lean in at work and build our career, to develop friendships and take some risks. No mother trapped at home with little children could say she felt good wearing track pants and old over sized T-shirts all day. No working woman could say she felt good about wearing an ill fitting, old style black polyester suit all day. And yet we do these things, I do and you do too. Let this new year be a brave new world, to simplicity, style and chic. Xx

Good Fruit

How many have toiled long and hard preserving fruit all through a  hot summer?

This is our second year of plenty, a harvest of summer fruit; and our second season using the old Fowler Preserving unit. With the help of old books, with scribbled notes in the margins we have made sense of what to do, how to care for the fruit, place it in the jar perfectly. My mother has helped us too, offering advice when required. Fresh is best, of course. But it is amazing to be a part of a practice that once upon a time families were forced to do in order to preserve food for future months.

Today we do it because we can. I can probably buy nectarines all year round, although they won’t have come from our own mini orchard. The fruit will have traveled more miles than me! But local, home grown is soooo good.

This year we are enjoying ‘growing our own’, sharing the experience with the kids and being grateful for the abundance and diversity of God’s good gifts to us.