What’s Good Enough?

We’re taught to aim for the best and with thanks to our current obsession with FOMO, the idea of going for ‘just good enough’ probably doesn’t really appeal. But how about if opting for good enough would actually lead to a happier, more positive existence?

fomo

How settling can make people happier and more satisfied than gunning for “the best”. Read more: The Atlantic.

The Fashion Fix

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the French are impossibly chic. And it doesn’t get much chicer than Inès de la Fressange, now does it? You might think that money can’t buy you style – and certainly not at high street prices – but you would be wrong there. Since its launch last year, the Ines x UNIQLO collection has been going from strength to strength, proving a sell-out success each season: “UNIQLO and Ines want to help women discover the clothes that they most want to wear every day, and this is where their journey begins.”

ines uniqlo

For Spring/Summer 2015, de la Fressange’s take on ‘unconventional luxury’ is all about effortless summer style. Inspired by Morocco, the 27-piece collection includes beautifully-made basics designed to be dressed up or down – whether you’re packing for a beach break or channelling sophisticated city chic.

“I think it’s important to look elegant, even if you have limited items. We can dress well even with just a few pieces of clothing. Luxury isn’t about buying expensive things. It’s about having good taste and enjoying beautiful things,” says de la Fressange.

ines de la fressange uniqlo

 
In cotton, cashmere, silk and linen, the Ines x UNIQLO collection relies on beautiful fabrics – and, of course, impeccable tailoring and fit. Every single piece feels easy to wear, with subtle sportswear-inspired detailing featuring in relaxed jogger-style trousers, slip-on dresses and retro bombers.

uniqlo idlf

 
Although de la Fressange’s legendary androgynous insouciance dominates the collection, there are nods to a sensual femininity too, with floral tea dresses and button-through skirts. With pretty polka dots and vintage-inspired florals working alongside muted neutrals, it feels very Paris-meets-Provence. Summer fashion is all about simplicity – it looks like Ines x UNIQLO has come up with yet another winner. Vive la France!

For more information and to shop the collection, see the UNIQLO website.

uniqlo

Ten Inspirational Feminists

Ten best feminists? Sounds suspiciously like clickbait content – even if it was published to celebrate International Women’s Day. Cynicism aside, this list will make you feel inspired and empowered, seriously! From the Star Trek cast member to the woman who travelled round the world in under 80 days with just handbag for luggage – we say YES to finding out more about brilliant, game-changing women. 

nelly

On Sunday 8 March, it’s International Women’s Day. Helen Lewis pays tribute to 10 inspirational feminists. Read more: The Guardian

Career Satisfaction

How do you feel about your job? Fulfilled, positive and optimistic? Or maybe you’re wondering what your skills and strengths are – and questioning why you’re there at all… How can you maximise your career satisfaction?

job satisfaction

Stuck in a rut? Here are five ways to get the most out of your job whether you’re looking to stay put or move on to pastures new. Read more: Get The Gloss.

RIH Eats

From best-selling cookery writer and presenter Anjum Anand, these Grilled Chickpea Seekh Kebab Wraps are perfect for a casual supper – or delicious packed lunch. The brains (and tastebuds!) behind authentic food range The Spice Tailor, Anand specialises in healthy, contemporary Indian cuisine full of flavour.

Normally seekh kebabs are made with lamb mince cooked on skewers and served as they are or wrapped in thin flatbreads with some crunchy bits. This protein-packed version is equally delicious and satisfying enough to make a healthy, light meal. I know it is odd to see cheese in Indian food but it really helps to add some umami flavour here and helps bind the kebabs together. You can also lightly fry them in a non-stick frying pan (with or without skewers) in which case you don’t need to brush with butter. You can leave out the butter if you are being healthy and eating them with the yoghurt, if not you should add the fat as they will taste a bit dry.

kebabs

1.5 tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, half finely chopped and half finely sliced (for the wrap)
2 tsp. finely chopped ginger
2 good cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp. finely chopped green chillies to taste
3 tbs. finely chopped red capsicum
20g grated cheddar cheese

1 tsp. cumin 
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. dried mango powder (or serve with lemon wedges)
3 tbs. breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper or to taste
2 small fistfuls of chopped fresh coriander
1 rounded tbs. butter, soft or melted
Large skewers, soaking in water as you cook

To Serve

6 Tortillas or thin flatbreads
8-10 Iceberg lettuce leaves
Small fistful of chopped mint leaves
Small fistful of coriander leaves
½ lemon
250g thick Greek yoghurt

 
wrap ingredients

● Mash or blend the chickpeas until they are a coarse puree.

● Heat the vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan and add the chopped onion and some salt; cook until soft and then golden. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and stir fry over a gentle flame for 1 minute or until the garlic is just cooked. Add the cumin and garam masala with a splash of water and cook out until there is no moisture left in the pan and you can see the mixture frying in the oil. Add this to the mashed chickpeas, along with the fresh coriander, dried mango powder, cheese, capsicum and breadcrumbs. Mix well together, taste and adjust the seasoning to taste. Leave to cool.

● Meanwhile, stir the handful of chopped mint and coriander into the yoghurt along with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the sliced onions in a good squeeze of the lemon juice.

wrap

● Roughly portion the kebab mix into 6 and with slightly oiled hands, form the seekh kebabs around the skewers, you can make these round or slightly flattened. Preheat your grill setting in your oven place the skewers on oiled foil and place about 4” away from the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes, carefully turning halfway, or until browned on both sides.

● Place the breads in foil in the oven to heat through for the last 3-4 minutes before the kebabs come out. Brush the cooked kebabs with the butter (they will be dry and quickly absorb the fat). Quickly ease the kebabs off the sticks and place straight on the breads, top with the onions, lettuce and yoghurt, wrap and serve.

Find The One

You’ve been looking for the perfect partner. Searching for the one that’s just right for you. Perhaps you really like the sexy ones. Maybe you feel like you haven’t tried enough? Or it could be that you’re just never completely satisfied… Well now it’s time to #FindTheOne.

Well here’s some news: Triumph is on a mission to help no less than 500,000 women to “Find the One” – the perfectly fitting bra. “The right bra is completely life-changing: it means no more pinching, no more straps or underwire that dig in – only weightless support, total comfort and a beautifully shaped silhouette.” With 129 years of experience in matching women with The One, Triumph certainly knows what they’re doing… Sexy, flirty or sweet – isn’t it time you #FindTheOne?

Find the One bra for you at triumph.com/findtheone.

triumph

Alternative Therapies

Therapy might seem like a big step for some of us. If we’re just feeling a little down, slightly overtired or a bit stressed, is therapy really the best option? Created by the always-marvellous School Of Life are three rather cool mobile sites/apps: Books as Therapy, Art as Therapy and Food as Therapy. We’ll let you guess which is our favourite…

books as therapy

Simply select your current malaise, and suggestions will be generated for you in terms of reading matter, artworks or recipes. Food as a therapy for boredom? Why, you need to whip up some Salsa Verde – described as “the gourmet equivalent of a roll in the snow after a hot sauna.” Would you like to feel more grounded? Some easily-made, super-delicious soda bread (made in under 12 minutes) is just the ticket.

art as therapy

Perhaps you find a lot of people annoying, but you don’t want to be lonely… The book you need to read is Anna Karenina – and of course, there’s a very convincing SoF explanation as to why! Art-wise you could be perusing Pieter de Hooch (your job is banal),  David Hockney (you can’t bear the rain) or Diego Velazquez (you think that everyone but you is having fun). So before you resort to the therapist’s couch, maybe it’s time to sit down with a good book – or cook a batch of strawberry jam!

The Voice of Worry

I have of late – but wherefore I know not – lost all my mirth. Well, not quite; I’m certainly nowhere near Hamlet’s level of sadness and introspection, but I have found myself somewhat on the grumpy side recently. You know, that state where everything seems like a big deal, nothing strikes you as terribly funny, and life just feels like hard work.

worry

The makings of such a mood can come from any quarter; professional setbacks, disappointments in friendships, money problems. For me, it has been due to feelings of bog-standard overwhelm. I am coming up to the sixth month of my first pregnancy, and my husband and I are currently looking to buy a house and move just outside of Paris. Not bad when it comes to life-changing decisions, huh? Add to that our full-time jobs, families, friends, my writing and coaching, and it all seems like a mountain from which even the fearless Bear Grylls would run screaming.

The inconvenient truth

And the thing is, there’s not really much to be done about overwhelm. You can roll your sleeves up, make a plan, start a list, make a Plan B, and discuss options with your partner ad nauseam, and those actions are practical and wise. But they’re not always enough to quiet the nagging little voice that pipes up at 2am and whispers some variant on, “It won’t all be ok; you won’t get through this; you can’t manage”.

GAG thyself

It is my firm belief that the only thing to do in those situations is to GAG oneself. No, we’re not getting into 50 Shades territory here; GAG stands for “Get A Grip”. It’s an old expression that sounds rather shocking nowadays, doesn’t it? In an age that favours self-examination even to the point of self-torture over the old “buck up” attitude, exhorting someone to simply “get a grip” seems callous. But I maintain that sometimes it’s the only way.

to do listing

It’s like a mental self-slap. A reminder that we really are dealing with first-world issues, here. My husband is fond of asking me to imagine how I would feel if the things overwhelming me weren’t happening – if I weren’t able to have children, if we couldn’t envisage getting a bigger home, if I didn’t have employment, friends that want my time, family who need me… The simple answer is: I’d feel pretty rubbish (he can be infuriatingly right at times)!

It doesn’t always work. Sometimes a problem really is a problem and needs talking through and solving, but it’s often just a proliferation of activity, obligations and, well, life that puts us in a tail spin. That’s when a self-shake and a firm “For God’s sake, Jo, Get. A. Grip.” works wonders for me.

DO try this at home

GAG-ing seems to work best when performed using a specific accent. I occasionally hear a plummy-voiced Malory Towers- type sports mistress barking at me. You may prefer an American drill sergeant or even an exasperated version of yourself. Sometimes I like to hear my Scottish grandmother’s voice softly burring, “Now, now, dear, you know I love you, but do try to get a grip for goodness sake”. She never said anything of the kind to me, but somehow the vision of this strong, no-nonsense yet kind and loving woman works every time.

get a gri[

GAG-ing is also best achieved when used entirely on its own. No extra pep talk, no list of “examples of times when it has all been ok in the past as so will be this time too”, no reasoning or cajoling. Just a mental “No Entry” sign that brooks no argument. It’s not easy at first, but if you GAG each time you head back down the road of ovewhelm, it eventually comes more quickly and more naturally. Give it a try. I’m interested to know how it works for you!

Do Something

We’ve all been there – there’s something you know you need to do (revising for an exam, applying for a job, taking clothes to the dry cleaners) and yet somehow you just can’t find the motivation to do it. In fact you’ll do anything – anything at all – rather than committing to the task you know you need to do. The solution? Try Mark Manson’s Do Something principle.

do something

A cool little mental hack to get you over procrastination and inspire motivation. Read more here: The “Do Something” Principle.

Maybe, Baby?

Sometimes we’re that painfully honest best friend who narrows her gaze and replies that no, maybe those jeans aren’t the best fit for you right now. These are the hard truths you might not really like hearing. If you haven’t got children and you do want them, this article may be the most important thing you read this year. Seriously.

babies

Women in their 30s and 40s exhibit a mix of wishful thinking and woeful ignorance when it comes to their fertility. Why? Read more: Aeon Magazine.