What I Wear to the Gym

//Sports Bra -USAPro//Bottle - Urban Outfitters//Leggings - USAPro//Yoga Top - Swetty Betty//

I've called this what I wear to the gym but this is what I wear regardless of where I am working out, excluding swimming obviously. I tend to stick to black for my gym clothes as sweat patches don't show up as much, and black is a slimming colour so a great confidence boost when you are surrounded by super fit people who have the time to workout everyday. The other thing I look for in workout clothes is good support for my chest, due to having quite a large chest I tend to wear two sports bras or a sports bra and a top (like the one above) that has a built in one. The last thing is comfort, if you try on some sports kit regardless for what it is for and it isn't comfortable don't get it. If it isn't comfy in the fitting rooms it won't be when you are sweating it out.

What do you look for in your gym attire?

XO, Miriam

Eating Habits Update


At the beginning of June I wrote this post about my eating habits and changes I want to make both with my diet and within my lifestyle as a whole. So here is an update in list form: 
  • I have decided that eating meat isn't right for my health, the environment and supporting that industry raises a lot of ethical concerns as well. 
  • In other words I am now a Vegetarian. 
  • While I am generally eating two vegan meals a day, this does mean I still eat dairy or eggs most days of the week. 
  • I am not totally comfortable with this and would like to increase the amount of vegan meals I eat in a week of the rest of the summer. 
  • Basically I am a plant based vegetarian until further notice. 

XO, Miriam 

Vegan Meal Ideas| Curried Veggies Rice Bowl

As many of you know I am in the process of gradually living an increasingly vegan lifestyle, and I have started where most people do with food. So to keep myself accountable and to give other people ideas I am going to start to share my favourite vegan recipe each week. So lets start with this wonderful bowl of goodness.

//2 Small Potatoes//1 Bell Pepper//4 Mushrooms//1 Spring Onion //Leafy Greens//Basmati Rice //Spices of Choice//

1. Cube and boil the potatoes and begin to cook the rice, I personally cook rice in a pan but if you have a rice steamer that is fine.
2. Chop up  the rest of the ingredients, and choose your spices. For the bowl showed above I used, cumin, chilli, cayenne pepper, ginger and a small pinch of cinnamon.
3. Pour out most of the water from the boiled potatoes and add the remaining veggies excluding the spring onion and leafy greens.
4. Add the spices and a small amount of salt to the cooking veggies stir until the veggies are coated in the spice mix and are cooked to your tastes.
5. Put the cooked rice and leafy greens into a bowl, followed by the veggies and top with the spring onion.
6. Tuck in.

Let me know if you try this on Twitter: @coffeechanel or Instagram: @englishmademoiselle

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| The Outsider

The Outsider by Albert Camus - 3/5

I definitely never saw myself picking up this book ever again after my experience studying it on IB, but here we are and it is on my reading list for next semester. This is the first book on the reading list that I picked because it is short and I already knew the story. Well that and I know it can create existential thoughts for sometime afterwards. The basic premise of the book is a man gets tried in court for murder but is condemned for his lack of emotional reaction.

Overall I enjoyed this book, but because of the lack of emotion in the main character's perspective I couldn't sympathize as much with him as I can with the other characters. While I was reading this I was definitely aware of the discussions that I had when I previously studied the text, in that it is possible that the character was autistic but due to the knowledge at the time and the setting in Algiers this was unknown and therefore he was seen as an outsider. This book has definitely changed my perspective of the way you can use emotional arguments alongside logical ones to change people's perceptions and to create a society in which there are unspoken rules. I am of the opinion that you lose something by reading this book in English, I feel like there would be more meaning if it was read in the intended language of French. But maybe that is just me...

I would say that anyone who loves to read should give this book a go, if only to see a different perspective on things. It is a short book so in theory won't take long to read and digest the main themes.

XO, Miriam

Original Lifeline

//Headband - My Sister's//Dress- Mango//Shirt - Vintage Sale//

I would love to be able to write some beautifully crafted words about these photos, the wonderful clothes I am wearing, how they were inspired by something beautiful, and about my life lately, but I can't. I have no energy at the moment, I want to persue all of my creative ideas but the reality is I get as far as taking and editing the photos but when I sit down to write the words nothing comes. I don't want to force my creativity, or it will create a longer gap between the times when I do get creative. Hopefully I will be back up and running creatively in a couple of days, I feel like i need some time to live. I also need to sort somethings out that have been making my anxious and stressed over the last few weeks.

Sorry this is going to continue to be very rambley, that isn't a word is it...

I think that thing is with me is I struggle to find balance within the main areas in my life at any given time. So right now I have plenty of motivation and energy for looking after my health, for my job and for keeping up socially. But when I get home or have a day off I have no energy to blog which is sad because I really do love working on this little space on the web. I hope this is a case of needing new creative inspiration, be that music or finding some art that catches my eye.

Thank you for reading I appreciate it more than I can express in the written word. 

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Bombs on Aunt Dainty

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Bombs on Aunt Dainty by Judith Kerr - 4/5

I'm still fully into reading historical fiction especially about World War Two, there is something about the way fiction can educate you and create images of what that time period was like that is truly magical. Now these two books which my mum bought as a one book edition are based on Judith Kerr's life but are written with different names to allow for alterations in the story where she couldn't remember what happened. However all the main events that occur throughout the book are as how they happened to her.

While the book is actually aimed towards middle-grade readers the writing was not too young to make it frustrating to read. And as the story progresses the topics that Kerr covers become more adult as well as Anna the main character becoming more aware of what was occurring in the war. This book is beautifully written and while it is written with a focus on Anna and her view of the war it allows insight into the lives of her parents and her brother who happens to be my favourite character. He was old enough to understand what the Nazis were doing before Anna as well as being less adaptable too the new countries they moved to as the war progressed. He represents the emotions of many displaced jewish people in europe at that time, never knowing where they belong and having to move on just as they had learnt to live somewhere. This is something that people today can still relate to, just maybe not to the same extent.

I would definitely reccommend this book, but don't read it shortly after reading All The Light We Cannot See you end up comparing the two far too much.

XO, Miriam

Lightning Skies

//Top - Urban Outfitters//Trousers - Fat Face// Shoes - New Look//

This is slightly different to what I normally wear, but if there ever was a time to experiment the Summer Holidays are that time. And for once I am glad I did, not only are these trousers lightweight and perfect for the abnormal summer we have in the UK right now they are also so easy to move around in. And for some unknown reason I haven't worn these outside besides going to the washing machines in halls since I went to India last year. Also now I know they look so good with these shoes I am pretty sure I am going to wear them to a lot of lectures over the course of my next year at university. It is a shame I can't take my sister's top with me when I go though... Because as with quite a few of my personal style posts this summer I have been using my sister's wardrobe more than I should.

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| How To Build A Girl

How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran - 1/5

It is very rare that I don't finish a book or skip huge numbers of pages but this is one of those books for me. This might be an unpopular opinion but I really didn't enjoy this book, it started off well and then well I don't know what happened but it just wasn't for me. I'm not sure if it was the writing or the plot itself but the novel entered into the land of cringe, of the likes of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. This was not helped by the fact that I had no empathy for the characters... For me at least I found that the amount of moments where I cringed outweighed the amount of moments that were clever, deep and interesting. I can't really put why I didn't read this book the whole way through into words, it just wasn't for me and I thought it would be best not to waste my time forcing my way through it. So I have only read parts one and three with the occasionally sentence here and there to keep me up to date with the storyline. I doubt I will ever come back to this book but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try.

XO, Miriam

1989 World Tour

So as many of you know I love Taylor Swift and the 1989 World Tour was the third time I have seen her in concert, and as always she was incredible. I mean when is Taylor not incredible but there is something about the way she performs that makes you feel like you are in a smaller space than you are and there are on a few hundred people rather than the 65'000 that were there on Saturday the 27th of June. I only had one incredibly minor disappointment and that is she played every song from 1989 DLX except Wonderland which unsurprisingly is my favourite song on the album. But is certainly didn't ruin the concert for me not even close. I got to see so many people perform that day, Vance Joy, John Newman and Ellie Goulding as warm up acts, followed by Kendall, Gigi, Serena, Martha, Karlie and Cara who joined her on stage while she was speaking about friendship.

For me at least music is healing it can make me go from worried and anxious about everything and anything to calm and the happiest person on the earth. So I would definitely spend my money on seeing my favourite artists perform live that anything else even traveling. Because I know that the feeling of a concert big or small is the best feeling in the world for me and I don't think I am going to give it up anytime soon.

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| All The Light We Cannot See

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - 4.5/5

I didn't intend or reading this book so soon, I wanted get some of the books from my reading list for next semester read and partially annotated first but alas we are here. I picked up this book due to having almost 10 Euros in change at Amsterdam airport and nothing to read on the flight home so I entered the nearest shop selling books in English and I walked out with this lovely paperback edition. When I hear lots of people loving a book especially within the booktube and book blogger communities I am generally skeptical of whether the book is actually worth my time. With this novel I had no need to be, there is a reason this book is being hyped everywhere you look because it is incredible.

The novel tells the story of a Marie-Laure young blind girl in France and Werner a young German boy at the start of the war and the end. As the stories slowly catch up with each other their live while completely seperate have been connected for longer than expected and I certainly did not see it coming. The way Doerr writes is absolutely beautiful, there is not a paragraph that goes without a meaningful sentence that contains more meaning that some 500page books I have read. The way he narrates the action using different characters, timelines and insight into characters thoughts is poetic and weaves the story together in a way I have never seen. I before this the only novel I have read about WWII is The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzac (I reviewed it here), the only difference being this book has inspired my to read more books about this era along with any other historical fiction I find while browsing my TBR and the library this summer. 

I personally preferred Werner's side of the story as having been brought up in the UK there are very few occasions where you get to hear about a Germans side to the story. While this book is fictional, I felt as though if gave as much insight as possible as to what it was like to be a young man or woman in the war. As a character I empathised with Werner far more than Marie-Laure, probably because Werner was the underdog, having had a less privileged back ground than Marie-Laure. Having said that I found the way Marie-Laure and her father coped with her blindness and how she and those she lived with coped with his capture. All of this narrated perfectly as you experience the world of war without eyes, from the expense of brail books that she reads over and over to everything being discovered by her hands or other senses. Doerr's knowledge of how a blind young girl would act or react under these circumstances is incredible and I think I may re-read this book again and again!

I really hope you get a chance to read this book as it is definitely worth your while!

XO, Miriam

We Found Wonderland

//Jacket - Vintage Levi //T-Shirt - My Boyfriends//Skirt - Urban Outfitters//Shoes - Shoe Zone//

You know those sunglasses I mentioned in my ramble about my trip to The Netherlands (Here) these are those very ones. If you were wondering they are from a shop called Tiger? And boy am I glad I purchased them, I mean mainly because it makes me that little more by Taylor Swift but also because it was so sunny last Saturday when I went to see the 1989 world tour, post coming soon. Moving on from the best sunglasses I have ever owned...and on to this amazing skirt. There are a number of reasons I love this skirt, the first being the zip goes all the way to the hem, this means no large amounts of booty wiggling to get it on! The other reason it is fits my waist perfectly and doesn't flip up in the wind which with a skirt this short is a huge plus point.

I definitely felt like I was emulating TayTay or one of her many friends in this outfit, which is basically what I aspire to feel like all the time but come on I don't have the time to wear perfect outfits everyday. I do have the endless legs that she possesses as well which does help, but I spend way more time wearing the same pair of jeans for 5 days straight than her... Back to the outfit because I was going to be walking and standing a lot that day I chose a light weight and baggy t-shirt that I have borrowed from J on a semi-permanent basis and a jacket which I could put on the floor to sit on in-between warm-up acts at BST Festival cause you know... I think the only poor descision I made was my choice of shoes, they are no designed for all day standing and walking, my feet were aching far too much that evening when I went back to the hotel.

XO, Miriam

P.S. Thank you to my sister Emily for the photography and try and spot my mum. The one in the pink trousers ;)