Thursday, 14 January 2016

Life: The Slow Food Movement

R explores the delicious slow food movement.

When I was last in NYC I paid a couple of visits to Eataly, the captivating emporium of all things Italian and delicious. Myself and my family have been in a life long love affair with Italy - everything from its application of design, simplicity and execution of cuisine and open happiness of its people makes it the most incredible country and culture. 

I am not subtle about my disregard of French cuisine and respect for Italian in its stead - there is something about the stripped back elevation of fresh and local ingredients that I believe combines to create the best dishes you can find.

I've been geeking up on my foodie passion as reading 'The Slow Food Movement' by Cala...and I am completely captivated. The idea of gastronomy as something that covers cooking, taste, sourcing, production, ethics and health is fascinating and I'm fast wondering whether I can study the subject in my free time (maybe in another life hey?).

The book explores the valid notion of we are what we eat but in so much more detail. Where our food comes from, how it's produced, how it's stored and travelled and finally how it's treated when it eventually reaches the kitchen is so important. 

Thinking about each stage of the life cycle of our food is just like thinking about each stage of the production of our wardrobe. There's a whole journey that our clothes have been on before they land in our wardrobe, a journey which too many of us pay attention too. 

Growing food, creating clothes - these are both naturally slow things. Things that should be savoured, enjoyed and carefully done. I am challenging myself to slow down, to cook with care and to dress with deliberate concern for my garment's history, fancy joining me?

R x

Friday, 8 January 2016

Style: Winter Headwear

In search of the perfect bobble hat? J shares her favourites this winter.

With temperatures dropping, early mornings seem to be just that little bit more brutal. Wrapping up warm in a comfy blanket scarf and woolly hat is the perfect protection from those icy starts. 

One of this year’s top trends is the bobble hat, you cannot move for some sort of pompom balancing carefully on someone’s head or bobbing along the street in front of you. Personally, I'm sold on them so I thought I'd share my top picks of the seasons exciting bobble hats.

The Basic: Funi - hand made in UK

The Eco Option: Lowie – sustainable materials, fairly waged

The High Street: Topshop 

Something a bit different: Wonky Woolies - hand made in Glasgow

I'm off to significantly expand my woolly hat collection, what is your favourite winter warmer accessory?

J x

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Thought: R~A~J~E are ready for the new year

R~A~J~E forge ahead into the new year. 

It's been quite the year for R~A~J~E, personally and professionally. Even with everything 2015 has held I know it's got nothing on the challenges, joys, adventures and surprises that 2016 is going to throw at us. 

We as R~A~J~E have been on the cusp of something for a long time and 2016 is the time we finally meet our maker (as it were). We even have a deadline. It's pretty terrifying to work on something for so long and finally reach the season where you're either made or broken but I know we're up to it. 

Life has really beaten me up this year, my day job became insufferable and I became the girl who cried in the office and couldn't breathe at the thought of going to work. A has slogged it out getting R~A~J~E to the incredible place it's at now, J has survived incredible hardship and hurt and E has toiled more that anyone I know without a day off in months. All in all, 2015, you've been a bitch. 

But as I look back I don't see any of that. I see E flourishing in creativity, A becoming a business mogul, me and J getting engaged to men who really match us and I see all of us, as R~A~J~E forging ahead and creating our own future. 

Whatever 2016 has to hold for us, I know we can handle it - we've got each other. 

So I hope and wish that all of you enter next year with a gang of people around you who can support you, hold you accountable, challenge you, pour you a glass of wine and walk every day with you. It is after all what makes life, life. 

Love from all of us to all of you.

R~A~J~E x

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Thought: Happily Ever After

R's Top Tips for living happily ever after.

It'll be five years of knowing and loving my Favourite in June 2016; the year that'll see us get married and start our new lives together as husband and wife - I can't wait! This has got me thinking about what it is that really helps us stay happy and joyful together. I'm sure you all know that when you're in a relationship with someone you can't help but compare your own to others, and I find myself feeling really rather smug with my lot!

Above you can see us doing what we do best, dancing with abandon, adventuring on holiday and in life and enjoying time with family and friends. If you will allow me, I have a few tips to share for living happily ever after. 

1) Do things together
I'm not saying loose your independence, but prioritise doing things together and spend more time with each other than without. It's important. 

2) Talk to each other
In the morning over breakfast, on the phone at lunch or while cooking dinner. Wherever you can fit it in, and if you can't; make time. When was the last time you just sat and talked about the future?

3) Apologise, always 
Never let the sun set on an argument, no matter how bad. Whatever it is you're facing, find a way to unite and face it together. 

4) Put each other first
Before work, before friends, before all. This sounds extreme, but if it works both ways then you'll never be asked to do something you don't want to, or isn't right for both of you. 

5) Create new traditions
No matter how much you love your family, remember that you and your other half are a new one. Start creating new traditions, a new identity for you - whether you're a family of 2 or 12, it's important to feel like a team. 

6) Have fun together
Whether it's on the dance floor, in a coffee shop or while wandering around a park. Do things that make you laugh together.

7) Give thoughtful gifts 
Don't just ask each other what you want for Christmas and birthdays, set a budget and buy it. Spend time thinking about what they would really like, agonise over it and spend more than you should on it. 

8) Compliment each other 
Their hair, their tie, their smile that day. Whatever it is, when you notice something lovely, say so. 

9) Hold hands
Being tactile with each other in even the very small ways counts for a lot. Hold hands on the tube, walk with your arms round each other, sit next to each other on the sofa and hug at nearly every opportunity. It may sound small and silly but it's so very important. 

10) Choose to love each other
Because it doesn't come naturally every day, some days you have to decide to more than others. Work stress, exhaustion and plenty more things can make loving someone generously feel like hard work - so choose to, every single day. 

We have so much of life left to journey and so much to overcome, just in 2016 alone! I'm hoping that by following my own tips and taking an attitude of grace, we can spend life side by side, loving each other through each and every day.

R x