Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2017

This month I'm excited to start my 8th capsule wardrobe and celebrate warmer weather.  
As usual, I have 33 pieces for the next three months because I'm still following Project 333.  This past year I've noticed a trend away from capsule dressing, but I'm still happy with the concept and to this day I'm still learning from it.

Learning to take full ownership of your belongings by taking pride in what I own, mending and taking care of my items when they get tatty.  My clothes and my belongings aren't perfect but I enjoy using what I have, altering and accessorising things and making them my own.

Learning to be more selective by finding and living my values.
Learning simplicity and intentionality.
...and maybe someday it will help me discover my style as well.  

To me things have progressed past the stage of convenience and cutting out negative self-talk.  At this point I see capsule dressing as a slow journey to discover my personal style.  When I started capsule dressing I could not say what was important to me and what made me feel good.  Now I'm quite happy with the clothes I own, but I also feel inspired by slow and neutral fashion.  I certainly reconsidered my buying habits and I look to buy from more sustainable brands.  However my capsule doesn't feature very many slow fashion items because I want to keep wearing many of my old clothes season after season.  In addition, I also like to buy second hand first before investing in something new.  But I have noticed a shift.  When you look at the clothes in my capsule or capsules, you will see a lot of older, well loved items with stronger busier pattern and newer items I thrifted or bought from brands with sustainable practices that are in a softer and simpler color and silhouette.
Here's my selection for this summer:
(As usual, I will mark all new or new to me items with a * and I will show the brand name of ethically made items.)

1 - navy blue graphic blouse 
2 - blue/white striped T-shirt with embellishments 
3 - black crop blouse with pink/white flowers
4 - white/blue striped boxy T-shirt 
5 - white polo shirt*
6 - white camisole
7 - cream lace T-shirt

8 - black turtleneck sweater 
9 - navy blue swing cardigan 
10 - chambray button down 
11 - white/blue striped peplum button down
12 - white long sleeve button down

13 - black maxi dress 
14 - black/white sleeveless flare dress
15 - red, white and blue stripe dress
16 - navy blue pleated dress*
17 - black lace dress

18 - blue denim jacket

19 - indigo jeans PATAGONIA 
20 - light blue jeans 
21 - white jeans
22 - navy blue or navy blue with white polka-dots reversible midi skirt
23 - tan shorts*

24 - black lace up heeled boots NICORA SHOES 
25 - black hiking sandals
26 - white tennis shoes
27 - black chunky heel sandals

28 - sunhat*
29 - canvas shopping tote
30 - black wallet VELO CITY BAGS
31 - black adjustable belt
32 - sunglasses 
33 - everyday jewelry: wedding ring/band, watch, pandora bracelet and 1 pair of stud earrings

What's in your capsule this season?  I’d love to hear about your choices for summer if you care to share.  For more information on the concept of capsule dressing, I recommend visiting Courtney Carver's website (linked here). 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the items in my latest capsule!  Until next time.
   ♡ Nina

Monday, April 17, 2017

Butternut Squash Curry

This delicious butternut curry has been a favourite at work potluck lunches all winter, so I had to share the way I like to make it before the rainy days of spring are over.  It's a simple, but fragrant, spicy creation that warms you up on gloomy days and gives your body good energy.  ๐ŸŒถ

I usually eat a bowl or two of this curry like a chili without the rice and I noticed that my stomach and my body feels light, satiated and good.  What more could you want from your lunch?  I hope you get the chance to make this recipe and share it with your friends. ๐Ÿ˜‹

This recipe makes four servings with some leftovers.

  • 1 small to medium sized Butternut Squash;  cut into 1/2 inch dice 
  • 2 Tbsp. Oil
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp. Hot Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground Pepper

  • 2 stalks Celery; finely sliced
  • 2 inch nub of Ginger; grated or finely minced
  • 1 Green Jalapeรฑo Pepper; de-seeded and minced
  • 1 bunch of fresh Cilantro; stems finely minced and leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1 large can of crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 small cans of Black Beans
  • 1 small can of Kidney Beans
  • 3 Kaffir Lime Leaves

  • 1 can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 bunch of fresh Spinach; chopped
  • Salt to season
  • 2 cups of rice (optional)

    1. The curry dish was usually enjoyed with the girls at work and therefore required pre-roasting the butternut squash and then cooking the curry in a large crockpot.  When you're looking to make this curry, start by preheating the oven to 375° F.  Peal the hard skin of the butternut with a vegetable peeler (or a sharp knife if you're skilled and brave) and then cut the butternut open.  Remove the seeds by hulling the butternut insides with a tablespoon and then cut the butternut into 1 inch dice. 
    2. Next create the spice rub by combining the ground cumin, ground coriander, hot pepper flakes, curry powder, ancho chilli powder, salt and ground pepper.  Add this mixture, the butternut squash pieces and the oil into a large mixing bowl and combine until the butternut is evenly coated with the spices.  Spread the butternut pieces onto a large baking tray and roast them for 40 minutes.
    3. In the meantime, cut the celery, the chili, chop the cilantro stems, grate the ginger and add them with 1/2 a cup of water to the crockpot on high.  After the vegetables are softened, add two additional teaspoons of curry powder and 3 whole Kaffir lime leaves.  Stir the mixture and then add the crushed tomatoes, the beans, 1/2 cup of water and the roasted butternut squash.  
    4. Cover the pot and cook on high heat for 1 hour.  Select the low heat setting if you don't mind to cook it for 4 hours.  One thing to remember when using a slow cooker is not opening the lid any more than you have to.  Every time you open the lid it extends the cooking time.  I know, if you are like me, you would want to look inside, give it a stir and a try, but trust me, this type of cooking works best if you leave it alone.
    5. After the cooking time has passed, stir in the coconut milk, brown sugar, and spinach and cook for another 15 minutes.  Finally, adjust the seasoning with salt and fresh squeezed lemon juice until you are happy with the flavour.
    6. Ladle into bowls or over a bed of rice and garnish with a generous amount of cilantro leaves.

    Sunday, April 9, 2017

    My Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2017

    This is capsule number 7 for me!  I'm still happy with the concept and I'm also still learning from it.  I'm learning how little I need, I learning which colors, fabrics and styles I like and I'm learning to dress for comfort and as a form of self-expression.  Each spring I’m excited to grab some lighter pieces from my clothing box and wear them.  I’m so over wearing a million layers just to stay warm and I know this will stop soon, but we're not there yet.  Where I live the temperature in Spring can swing between 30 and 70 degrees and it is also the time of year when it rains the most, so it's difficult to know how to dress.  I might get excited by how sunny it is outside and when I step into the icy breeze without a jacket I instantly regret my choices.  Some days start in the mid 30s and by lunchtime the temperatures climbed into the 60s.  When I take a train to work I'm dressed for an artic excursion and on my way home my scarf, hat and coat or no longer in service (usually stuffed into a cotton tote). How is Spring where you live?

    Here is my selection of Spring 2017:
    (As usual, I will mark all new items with a * and I will show the brand name of ethical made vegan items.)

    1 - white/blue striped t-shirt
    2 - blush pink sleeveless blouse

    3 - white long sleeve button down
    4 - white and blue peplum button down
    5 - buffalo check flannel peplum
    6 - black turtleneck sweater 
    7 - olive green v-neck sweater
    8 - navy blue sweater
    9 - cream knit sweater
    10 - grey cardigan
    11 - navy blue swing cardigan

    DRESSES (2)
    12 - blue patterned wrap dress
    13 - black and white sleeveless flare dress* (new to me from a used clothing swap)

    14 - fleece sweater* PATAGONIA
    15 - black peacoat

    BOTTOMS (3)
    16 - light blue jeans
    17 - indigo jeans PATAGONIA
    18 - white jeans* (new to me from a used clothing swap)

    SHOES (4)
    22 - black lace up boots NICORA SHOES
    23 - black lace up heeled boots* NICORA SHOES
    24 - white tennis shoes
    25 - black hiking sandals

    26 - grey camera/work bag
    27 - black wallet VELO CITY BAGS
    28 - black adjustable belt
    29 - sunglasses
    30 - black beanie
    31 - black scarf
    32 - everyday jewelry: wedding ring/band, watch*, pandora bracelet and 1 pair of stud earrings*
    33 - ??

    What is in your capsule this season?  I’d love to hear about your choices for spring if you care to share.  For more information on the concept of capsule dressing, I recommend visiting Courtney Carver's website (linked here). 

    Thanks for stopping by!
       ♡ Nina

    Sunday, February 5, 2017

    Winter Capsule Dressing 2017

    Soon I will think about outfits for Spring, but first here is a look in my winter capsule for 2017, which I started in December.  It includes a lot of cozy, warm pieces that have been in my wardrobe for a few years and I also added some new items that fit with my casual style!  ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    This time around, I decided to include a visual to show the contents of my capsule better.  I'm also also hoping that doing a collage can help me define and understand my  clothing choices further.

    Here is my selection for this winter:
    (As usual, I will mark all new items with a * and I will show the brand name of ethical made vegan items.)

    1 - white/blue striped t-shirt

    2 - white long sleeve button down
    3 - white and blue peplum button down*
    4 - buffalo check wrap blouse*
    5 - buffalo check flannel peplum*
    6 - black turtleneck sweater
    7 - dark blue and white patterned cardigan sweater
    8 - striped blue and red embellished sweater
    9 - striped blue and white embellished sweater
    10 - cream knit sweater
    11 - navy blue sweater
    12 - olive green v-neck sweater

    DRESSES (2)
    13 - blue patterned wrap dress
    14 - dark denim dress

    15 - gray heated vest
    16 - black fleece vest
    17 - black peacoat

    BOTTOMS (3)
    18 - light blue jeans
    19 - indigo jeans* PATAGONIA
    20 - navy blue maxi skirt

    SHOES (3)
    22 - black chunky heel boots
    23 - black riding boots
    24 - black lace up boots* NICORA SHOES

    25 - grey camera/work bag
    26 - black wallet VELO CITY BAGS
    27 - black adjustable belt
    28 - sunglasses
    29 - black beanie
    30 - black scarf
    31 - black gloves
    32 - everyday jewelry: wedding ring/band, watch*, pandora bracelet and 1 pair of stud earrings*
    33 - ??

    (In case you're wondering... all my shoes and the shiny black accessories are of course not real leather ๐Ÿ˜ƒ).

    What is in your capsule this season?  I’d love to hear about your choices for winter if you care to share.  For more information on the concept of capsule dressing, I recommend visiting Courtney Carver's website (linked here). 

    I hope 2017 has been good to you so far!
       ♡ Nina

    Sunday, January 15, 2017

    Green Goals for 2017

    Happy New Year friends!  I love the start of a new day with a brilliant sunrise or the start of a new year and the possibility of a 'clean' slate.  In short, I'm the girl that makes new years resolutions each year.  I'm intrigued by the idea of turning over a new leaf and I welcome the chance of setting goals and a new standard for myself.  I know new years resolutions are not for everyone, but they work for me because I'm a very stubborn and persistent person.  For me, winter is a really difficult time and I'm having a lot of time to think.  

    (↟Nature, of course, has the most spectacular way to wipe the slate clean and begin again as you can see in my sunrise photograph at Canyonlands National Park.)

    Lately I'm pondering if I'm living this life right.  Am I really living my values?  Deep down I know I should NOT waste time dealing with things that make me unhappy (yes, winter I'm speaking about you... we are breaking up this year) and I also know I SHOULD really try harder to live my values.  

    In some ways I'm already doing this. I'm vegan for health and ethical reasons and this lead me to make ethical choices in other areas of my life as well.  So now, after much thinking and having some regrets of not starting these changes sooner in earnest, I’m setting simple and attainable goals for the new year.  I understand that these goals are not reached or even started overnight.  Therefore, my plan is to switch over as I run out of things so that I can slowly be ready to make better choices.  Trash for example is a choice and I would like to see if I can avoid some of it.  Well, a lot of it actually...

    But of course, nothing is ever as straightforward as I imagine it right now.  My attempts will not be perfect, but it is still worth giving it a try.  I know that a few small and persistent steps forward now is always better than no progress at all.  ...and persistence is one of my strengths and something I can work with. 

    Here are my green goals for 2017:

    -Plastic trash, for example, is a choice and I would like to see if I can avoid some of it.
    -I want to stop using and buying plastic items whenever possible. 

    -I like to use simple homemade cleaning supplies for cleaning the house, dishes and washing clothes.
    -I also like to make one or two simple all purpose cleaning solutions.

    In an ideal world, my closet would be shopped exclusively from sustainable brands, but that is not the case.  This does not mean that I’m tossing everything I own so that I can replace each item with ethical alternatives.  This does not sound sustainable or ethical at all.  I will keep what I have until it gets worn out and then I will swap things for a better option. So far my goal was to buy less and vegan items.  It was important to me that I choose each item well so that it could last a long time.  That’s still the plan, but this is year I want to see if I could keep the same principles and maybe purchase second hand or at least ethical, eco friendly and fair trade clothing.


    -Switch to a menstrual cup
    -Switch to bamboo tooth brush
    -Switch to items without packaging when possible

    -I like to grow more plant friends to help with indoor air quality.

    -I plan to refuse single use disposable items and repurpose items in our home or find a reusable alternative.
    -I like to invest in a glass KeepCup for coffee and tea (because I just don't like the taste of drinking out of stainless steal).
    -I like to continue using my glass water bottle (with tea strainer).
    -I plan to continue bringing my stainless steel spork whenever I'm out and about.

    I'm so excited about these changes!  Do you set goals at this time?  Please feel free to leave me a comment if you have any tips or if you would like to share your new years goals.  

    Cheers to an epic and greener 2017! #GoingGreen2017 #SLCzerowaste
       ♡ Nina