March is the month of expectation. ~ Emily Dickinson
March! The mornings and evenings are getting noticeably lighter and there are signs everywhere of spring; so good for lifting those spirits after what feels a long winter. I adore Spring and the growth and promise it brings. There are snow drops and daffodils springing up everywhere and it’s getting easier to get myself and my children out of bed on those hectic school mornings.
This month I’m working on:-
You may have seen on my Instagram channel that later this month I am hosting an event in collaboration with Mint Velvet in York. I am beyond excited about this evening and I adore the quality and style of Mint Velvet clothing. At this Spring/ Summer launch party, the amazing Personal Stylist Laura Fawcett will be showcasing the new Mint Velvet collection with live models. Laura is a freelance Personal Stylist and Makeup Artist based in York, Leeds and Harrogate and I have worked with her several times. Check out my blog about the last time that we worked together at the event I organised with Hobbs York in November. Laura has such an amazing eye, and I am really looking forward to hearing her tips and seeing how she styles the collection for the season ahead.
Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics will also be joining the evening to show us some of their new products, which you will be able to sample and discuss your make up routine with the team. The evening will also be supported by York Gin, a local company who will be there with samples of their amazing gins. Tickets include a glass of fizz, nibbles, a goody bag and £15 off any Mint Velvet purchases on the night. Amazingly, tickets sold out within 12 hours, so apologies to those of you who didn’t manage to get one. I am sure to be organising more events like this, so keep an eye on my Instagram page. I will of course let you all know how it goes!
I have also started working with the amazing Harvey George and recently went to the opening of their flagship bathroom showroom in Harrogate. Harvey and George are a UK leading manufacturer and supplier of bathroom vanities and bespoke storage solutions. Their made-to-measure pieces are all British designed and made and I was very impressed by the quality and style that was on offer in the beautiful showroom.
This month I’m recommending:-
So you haven’t already heard of SheerLuxe, then I highly recommend heading to their website and signing up for their newsletter. The newsletter includes fashion and beauty advice, culture recommendations on books and podcasts, tv and films, restaurants and bars, travel and articles on parenting, food, health and fitness, careers and relationships, property and interiors. They cover so many topics and I absolutely love receiving their daily emails, so take a look!
In a similar vein, I also have two fashion YouTube channels to suggest. The first is Eleanor Barkes who is a petite style and beauty blogger. Like me, she is 5 foot 2 and so just brilliant to give me ideas about what to wear for my size and shape. She also has a great website for you to explore.
The second is Jess from Fashion and Style Edit. She is super knowledgeable about everything fashion and full of great advice and tips. Her videos are a great watch and there is a recent one looking at Spring Try Ons which is fab.
This month I’m getting sorted:-
Although I have known about QuickBooks for years, the thought of getting my accounts, invoices and tax affairs sorted has always intimidated me. I am one of those people who keeps all their receipts in a shoebox and then, in a frantic panic in January, gives the whole lot to my husband! My dyslexia means that I avoid numbers and letters at all costs as I am fearful of getting in a muddle and creating a mess. But this year, I decided that it is time to take proper control of my finances and so have downloaded QuickBooks’ Self-Employed Accounting & Tax Software. And so far, it has been great! You can link it to your bank accounts so that all your transactions are in one place and even upload pictures of your receipts. If, like me, you are someone who needs to see things visually, then I really think this is fantastic in seeing what is going in and out of your account. Although I have only been using QuickBooks for a few weeks, I thought I would share as it seems excellent and is making a job that I am fearful of into something very manageable.
This month I’m listening to:-
I’m sure lots of you have heard of Dr Rangan Chatterjee. He has a brilliant podcast Feel Better Live More Bitesize, which is his weekly podcast that features inspirational stories and practical tips about how to live life happily and healthily. These are clips taken from his main podcast episodes and I find them a great length for listening to on the way back from the school run. In this clip, he is talking to Dr Pradip Jamnadas and sharing a beginner’s guide to fasting and the incredible benefits that happen when our bodies take periodic breaks from food.
I have been interested in fasting for a few years now and I have friends and my older sister who have been doing it very successfully. I am a yo-yo dieter who knows how to lose weight, but then can never keep it off. I have always thought that fasting is not for me as I can’t last without food, but with some encouragement from those I know who do fast, I have been successfully doing it for the past three weeks and am feeling great! Rather than being a diet, fasting is more a way of life and, as I understand it, this is why the weight does not reappear. I have found this Dr Chatterjee podcast really informative because it explains all the science behind fasting. So far, I have lost half a stone and feel so much better. Although I plan to be more relaxed at the weekends, I think that this is something I could stick with. I would love to hear from any of you that practice fasting and how you manage to maintain it as a way of life.
This month I’m eating:-
Did you know that this is only month of the whole year that there is no freshly-picked, seasonal UK fruit available? April is when the home-grown fruit selection returns to our shelves, but March, after the winter, is not a time of abundance. That said, there are loads of fabulous veggies in season this month and lots of delicious wholesome and warming dishes to be made. Leafy greens, like kale, spring greens, chard, chicory and cabbage, are readily available; as are celeriac, leeks, parsnips and purple sprouting broccoli. I am going to try some recipes for purple sprouting broccoli that I’ve found on the BBC Good Food website.
March is also a good time for fish and seafood. If any of you are lovers of mussels, oysters, cockles and clams, this is a great month for you. And there are also some great fish like hake, dover sole, red mullet and white bait that are also in season now. As well as using BBC Good Food, I also check out blogs like Eat The Seasons to find out what British produce is available and good to eat each month
This month I’m enjoying:-
As many of you will already know, I absolutely love flowers and can happily while away time arranging flowers to brighten up my home. This is definitely one of the reasons that I love spring so much. Visiting places like one of our favourites, RHS Harlow Carr, or even just walking locally around our village, makes you realise how many plants and flowers are bursting into life this month. As well as the ubiquitous daffodil or narcissus, there are loads of varieties springing into bloom right now; camelia, bergenia, daphne, hellebore, primrose and hyacinth to name a few. So much to enjoy! Check out this article from Gardener’s World about which flowers you can pick in March.
I imagine you are all looking forward to warmer weather and brighter days as much as we are, although it doesn’t sound as though that is going to happen this month! Don’t forget to keep an eye on my Instagram, YouTube and blog for more events and happenings this month.
Love Caroline xx