The Lesser Spotted Compliment

**Originally written 15/1/2019**

Aaaaaaaand breathe. It was a tough old festive season but I’ve made it out the other side more or less intact! Is it too late for Happy New Year? Ok, well may you have a haggis filled Burns supper when it comes!

If I was to score my first month of this project I think I’d give myself a 6/10. There was almost no exercise, TOMM had completely fallen by the wayside and I don’t think there was a puke free day in my house for at least three weeks. But, I did finish my book (just), I tried new recipes from my BBC Good Food archives and I’ve definitely been very grateful for a lot of things such as ice pops and basins (Ruby was especially grateful as it saved her from being puked on while she was feeding!). It should probably be a 5 but I’m giving a myself a bonus point just for surviving.

Catch up:

Practising Gratitude

Writing in my 6-Minute Diary became a bit hit or miss over the festive period but I’m getting back to it daily now. It was interesting doing the monthly check and seeing how things had changed for better and worse over the course of a month.

The monthly check list plus habit trackers from The 6-Minute Diary


Still haven’t quite got back into the swing of the schedule yet but I am doing at least 30 mins of housework each day. It had reached the point of leaving me feeling doomed up again with the extra loads of washing from everyone being sick and just the general mess of the festive limbo weeks but thankfully Ross managed to blitz the kitchen and tackle the laundry mountains on his extra days off and even shampooed the carpets. I love that man.

While we’re here, has anyone else started watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix? Think I may have to take a few tips from her, I definitely like the method of folding clothes so you can see everything, that will be particularly useful with the kids stuff. Will also add ‘sort all kitchen cupboards’ to my list of ongoing side projects (fixing my hair being another one) but I know that will only happen when there really is some magical pocket of unallocated time….


I’ve decided to restart Liift4 from Beachbody on Demand. I managed 3 out of the 4 workouts last week. I missed leg day as Ruby decided to stay up an hour and a half later than normal so there went all my me time! I kept thinking I needed to squeeze it in on the rest days but have instead decided to start week 2 with leg day to make sure I got it in and just let week 1’s go.

New recipes

There hasn’t been a lot happening here, we have mostly been eating out of our jam packed freezer or my Da’s amazing minestrone soup portions. Each Christmas I make a capon and use this recipe to prep and glaze it. Maybe for Christmas 2019 I’ll make the stuffing and shallots too. For the week ahead I’m going to try and make a selection of overnight oats from the March 2018 issue of BBC Good Food. I’m purposefully keeping it a bit easier this week as I try and get everything back on track again.


Becoming by Michelle Obama. No shocker there as apparently everyone in the world is currently reading it. What is a shock though is that I’ve already managed to read another whole book at the same time!

What was originally a ‘sit in my Amazon basket until I can justify buying you after getting three books at Christmas’ item turned out to be a really motivational and hilarious read. ‘Girl, wash your face’ by Rachel Hollis has basically used swathes of my life as inspiration to give women the world over hope and encouragement. I can only assume that the parts about being a hugely successful entrepreneur are prophetic as I’m yet to experience that. Maybe that can be next years blog. Quick shift back to reality – what an incredible woman. To have gone through everything she as an individual, and the Hollis’ as a family, experienced and still have the level of faith, hope, love and success that they know is nothing short of amazing. Some of the advice in it isn’t anything new or mind blowing but being reminded of these things and having her story back it all up adds weight to it.


I have had very little time on Spotify that hasn’t involved listening to Vicky Arlidge’s Nursery Rhymes Vol.2 and funnily enough I don’t want that to be the sound of this new season so no ear worms today.

Mind Dump

Might as well make it an official heading. Heads up, the rest of this post is about my clothing so this is your chance to jump ship if you have no further interest. Thank you for your time. 

Since the last post I have cleared my wardrobe and drawers of clothes I don’t actually like that much or don’t fit and now have a semi-decent amount of clothing and I like it all. I’m yet to get to the suitcase in the  cupboard behind the cot but I’m pretty sure most of that will go. It’s in a suitcase in a cupboard for a reason. 

Full disclosure – I did get some new clothes at Christmas and also got a shirt, a skirt and a couple of jumpers myself (Gasps all round). Gifted clothing I will happily continue to accept. The whole idea of returning gifts (as suggested by some minimalist insta posts) because they don’t match your very, very new lifestyle choices is as ridiculous as some one suggesting that clothing is no longer sustainable if dried using a tumble drier because it uses ‘dirty energy’. No joke,  I read that in some other blog or insta post while trying to stay awake feeding Ruby at night…maybe I should stay away from social media while feeding. Besides, the items in question were chosen by me in late Oct/early Nov so of course I love them! 

So, the shirt and the skirt. I have been looking for a leopard print shirt and a cord skirt for aaaaaggggeees. I finally found ‘the ones’ in Warehouse and Next. Nope they’re not all singing and dancing totally transparent with their supply chains but after digging around they do at least have what seems to be the industry standard of policies regarding slave labour, fair wages etc. This is me now set up with my wardrobe for the year, possibly longer if stuff lasts, once some thing needs replaced it will be from somewhere like Know the Origin or Sugarhill Brighton after I’ve saved up for it! (Reducing debt is a other lovely side project…I’ll check in with that update in 10 years) . I’ll also be cruising through Vinted, Etsy and good old charity shops for some second hand gems

Anyway, the shirt and the skirt. What surprised me about these two purchases was the difference in my decision making process. What I used to do was find something I liked and then try my hardest to find it cheaper. Which was never as nice as the actual one I wanted but I felt I was winning because I saved money instead of realising I was settling for something I was never going to like as much as the original. So after mulling over these items for a few weeks I decided to bite the bullet. The skirt came and I was delighted. The shirt came and was a bit too big (I had ordered a size up as I thought Warehouse would size on the small side), I almost settled again thinking ‘och it’s fine’ just so I didn’t have to wait a few more days for the smaller one to come but if I did that then what the flick was the whole point of the process up to that point?! So I reordered and now have exactly what I wanted. It’s a strange and lovely feeling. As is walking past Peacocks in the Coop knowing that there is no reason for me to browse there ‘just in case’ there’s a bargain to be had. It’s not a bargain if I never needed it. 

Finally my jumpers. They were on sale in H&M from their Conscious range and made from 65% recycled polyester. So no fancy woollen jumpers yet but a small step in the right direction. All four items were genuinely needed, thoroughly mapped out against my current wardrobe to make sure I could make a gazillion different outfits with them and they were each what I wanted, not a  cheap imitation (the fact the jumpers were on sale is a total bonus) .

I only have two more things to say so if you have made it this far then well done, you’re on the home straight!

Deciding what to wear every day used to stress me out but even though I’m only just starting out, the whole capsule wardrobe goal is already working wonders. The other day I caught myself thinking ‘I can’t wear that again already’ and then realised that that is exactly what I will be doing for the next year and onwards. For those who know me, yes I will be wearing the same stuff a lot but I promise it will be clean! Other than whatever baby related substance appears on it throughout the day obvs. It’s also taken some unnecessary pressure off me in the mornings as I no longer have to think so hard about it – it’s all clean and coordinates, who is really going to care if I wear it 3 days…weeks…months in a row?!

And the last finally. The point that relates to the title. New Years Day I put on a black jumper and a skirt/legging combo, a necklace and painted my face as I felt like absolute crap. Actually I felt worse than that so feel free insert your own salty language there. I go into the living room and Ross turns round and says ‘Check you out!’. My husband complimented me!!! It has been a long time since I’ve heard one of those and don’t think bad of him, I really have not inspired them much in the last few months (at least) of grumpy, sleep deprived and constantly hungry mama. The moment was short lived as I asked if that meant I got the seal of approval to which Hamish then burst out laughing and shouted ‘a poo vill!’ That was that. But I heard it and now I’ve documented it for all to know, Ross thought I looked good and said it out loud! I’m going to dine out on this for a few months. The best part is that I was dressed in my new normal. Or maybe that’s the worst part – am I setting the bar too high now?!

For the record, never in my life did I ever think I would have so much to say about my own clothing. I’m hoping this might be it out of my system for a wee while so I can start thinking about other stuff or maybe even just stick to my original goal list, afterall this blog was supposed to make me focus on those few things not act as a gateway to Xena Eco-Warrior Princess. Feel free to let me know what rabbit holes you’ve found yourself down!

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