Courgette Crisps

I’m not a health-nut; I don’t like counting calories; and I loathe exercising. What I do like is lying down; snacking; and lying down while snacking. Occasionally picking up the dumbbells when walking up the stairs feels like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

I’m not a health-nut; I don’t like counting calories; and I loathe exercising. What I do like is lying down; snacking; and lying down while snacking. Occasionally picking up the dumbbells when walking up the stairs feels like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Other than that, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen; and with the current situation, I’ve practically moved in. Since the beginning of lockdown, I’ve noticed that my habit of snacking throughout the day has… extended… well into the night. This did not concern me per se, but my body and the seams of my jeans were starting to give little warning signs. I thought about quitting but I’d never be able to maintain going cold turkey. I needed a compromise. Enter homemade courgette crisps. All the salty, savoury goodness with none of the guilt afterwards. This way, I know exactly what I’m putting into my body, and I won’t feel as bad for finishing a portion suited for a family of four.

So, if you love to snack but your waistline doesn’t, these are perfect for you; but be warned: they’re addictive, and people will question why you’re buying courgettes by the bucket load. (Yes, I speak from experience.) For the ultimate courgette crisps, all you need are:

Ingredients:

2-4 courgettes

Rosdee chicken stock/salt/pepper/ or seasoning of your choice.

Greaseproof paper.

Cooking time: 1 – 2 hours.

  • Step 1: Slice the courgette at a 45-degree angle, keeping each slice consistent in thickness; 1-2mm is perfect, anything thicker will only add to your cooking time.
  • Step 2: Lay out the slices on kitchen paper and set them to dry overnight (I know, I hate this step as much as you do).
  • Step 3: Gently pat the courgette slices dry with kitchen paper, after which you’ll want to pre-heat the oven to 75 degrees.
  • Step 4: Line an oven tray with greaseproof paper and then place the courgette slices on top making sure to leave a gap between each slice.
  • Step 5: Place the tray on the highest rack and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Step 6: Remove the tray and lightly sprinkle Rosdee or your chosen favouring of your choice on top. Place back in the oven to brown.  Check on them every 25-30 minutes. Once they start to brown, check on them more often until they are crispy.
  •  Step 7: Set aside to cool. Enjoy!

*N.B. Some pieces, especially if you are a little inconsistent with your slices, may be ready before others. Take them out as necessary.  

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I know it can be a little time consuming but trust me, the juice is worth the squeeze. If you do decide to give this recipe a go, please let me know how it went in the comment section below. If you like it as much as I do don’t forget to share it with your friends.

That’s it for me this month! Thank you for taking the time to stop by. If you want to see a little more of me during the week, my Instagram and Twitter are linked in the top corner. See you soon; stay safe; and happy snacking!

-Paphapan.

This is not a sponsored post. All/any affiliate links are in bold and underlined.

Finding Confidence

I don’t know what it is about the camera lens, but as soon as one is pointed in my general direction I will do one of two things: display proudly my what my friends have dubbed ‘the awkward Pap smile’ which consists of

There’s something about putting my thoughts into words which have attracted me to the idea of pursuing a career in writing. Despite never being a huge reader, I have always enjoyed the act of writing, whether the end result be some random nonsense or a comprehensive essay; and have long dreamt of turning that love into something sustainable. However, this never really got much further than the dream, my young self was never much one for seeing things through. That’s not to say I gave up on it entirely, rather put it on the back burner, indefinitely. Occasionally it would bust back to the forefront of my thoughts, accompanied by a sudden spark of inspiration reigniting my passion, but it would never last for long.

In 2011 I enrolled in university as an undergraduate and the urge to write, record, and share my thought was stronger than ever. This inspired me to start a blog, though I never took it as seriously as I intended to. When I graduated in 2015, looking for something to do in my spare time, I went back to my blog; determined this time to do it right. I spent a long time getting the name, look, and theme right; and invested money both towards that end, but also as a form of encouragement to see it through.

Four years later and so far there are less than a handful of blog posts live on ClothesConfidant, though no longer for lack of inspiration or drive. When I decided what I would write about I knew that this meant I would have to work on both sides of the camera, something I am incapable of doing without wanting the ground to swallow me whole. You know there’s always that one friend who always ruins a good photo? Yeah, that’s me. I’m pretty sure my goal in life to is look as awkward as possible; something I’ve been doing since day one as seen below:

I don’t know what it is about the camera lens, but as soon as one is pointed in my general direction I will do one of two things: display proudly my what my friends have dubbed ‘the awkward Pap smile’ which consists of 10% teeth, and 90% ‘please get me out of this situation’; or my current favourite: the awkward peace sign. Two if I’m feeling super awkward. Now it’s true I could have written about something else, but I won’t let fear dictate my life. So, I set off to conquer my awkward subconscious.

I started off filled with hope: practice makes perfect, right? I just needed to work on my self-confidence. The thing is, that’s easier said than done when you’re shy, awkward, and anything but confident. The more time passed the more I started to doubt myself. I started comparing myself to these drop-dead gorgeous Instagram models and influencers, all impossibly beautiful and radiating confidence, not an ounce of awkwardness insight. They were everything I wanted to be. So I tried copying what they did, to no avail. Every photo looked false. I was trying to mould myself into something else, someone I wasn’t. I became so fixated that it sucked all the enjoyment out of the whole project. Rather than a hobby, it had become a miserable obligation. Eventually, I put ClothesConfidant on hold.

I was considering abandoning blogging entirely when I had to give a lecture on confidence to a group of students. There I was giving this spiel about having the right attitude; that it’s ok to be different; to accept who you are; and so on. I felt like such a fraud, a complete charlatan. Who am I to be giving these teenagers advice that I couldn’t take myself? Then I remembered something my friend had said to me one drunken night:

                Pap, someone is going to love you for all your awkwardness. Never change.

I’m sure she neither remembers this nor has any idea the effect those words had on me. And she was right, I shouldn’t feel the need to change who I am. If I want to feel comfortable in front of a camera, I need to be comfortable just being myself first; awkward quirks and all.

We should be happy being who we are, and not feel the need to be like anyone else. Yes, it’s easy for us to slip into this mindset of wanting to be perfect. For every photo to be flawless. And for a long time, I felt that pressure and need to edit out the scars on my face; the creases in my clothes; the loose strain of hair etc. At this point in my life, I’m over it. It’s time to embrace the things which make us different. After all, if we were all the same as each other the world would be a pretty boring place. That’s what I’ve learned and wanted to share with you guys: just as we should be accepting of each other’s quirks and differences, so should we be accepting of our own. So, here’s to the awkward smile; the nervous peace signs; and the never knowing what to do with my hands. Here’s to all the things that make us who we are.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by! If you want to see a little more of me during the week my Instagram and Twitter are linked in the top corner. Anyways, that’s it from me this month. See you in April!

-Paphapan.

This is not a sponsored post. All/any affiliate links are in bold and underlined.

Minimal Effort

The new year inspires in me desire for change; I think that feeling is shared with many people around the world. There’s always this nagging inkling in us for change, but there’s something about

The new year inspires in me desire for change; I think that feeling is shared with many people around the world. There’s always this nagging inkling in us for change, but there’s something about a new year that really reinforces our drive to be our better selves; maybe it’s the idea of rebirth and starting our new lives with a new slate.

Every new year’s eve I find myself making these promises: ‘that this will be my year’; ‘a year for change’ but my determination slowly wanes and I always end up letting myself down, leaving myself with those miserable pangs of guilt and disappointment. I know I could simply avoid this fleeting feeling by not succumbing to the pressure of wanting to better myself because of a New Year, but I just can’t seem to tear myself away from the idea that I should better myself. So this year, I’m starting the new year and decade with, what I hope, will be a promise I can keep to myself and to you guys and that is: I want to be more consistent with ClothesConfidant. So putting my best foot forward I will start January with a simple, easy to read blog: Minimal Effort.

I like the idea of waking up in the morning and having the time and patience to make myself look presentable. The truth of the matter is, I’m not that kind of girl, and never have been. But recently I feel this immense pressure to try and so over the past month I have perfected a regime that combines two wonderful qualities: ease and speed.If you would like to achieve this effortless (seriously, it’s so effortless even I can do it) please read on.

After prepping my face with numerous skin creams, serums, oils etc… I am now ready to pack on the makeup. I always start with the cheeks to add a little colour to my face, and for that I’m using Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Puff. It’s lightweight, easy to work with, and it gives off this natural youthful look that I’m currently digging (probably because I’m trying desperately to hold onto my youth). For that youthful feel I keep the application high and tend not to bring it too close towards my nose. I suggest using your ring finger and then a clean dense brush to blend out any harsh lines.  I will then go back in with a powdered blush. I’m currently using Jouer’s Blush Duo: Adore opting for the darker shade in the compact. I like to apply this to the apples of my cheeks, working my way out towards my ears, before going back in with a clean brush to, again, blend out any harsh lines.

As for the highlight, I’m naturally shiny so I tend to keep it to a minimum. I only highlight the high points of my cheeks to keep it simple and cut down on time. A good highlighter I’m currently fond of is the Wet n Wild Megaglo in Precious Petals. It’s a really nice colour and it’s not too glittery; compliments my skin tone; and it’s affordable. And if I really want that high shine, I can always go back in and add more.

They say “eyes are a window to the soul” and that’s true to a certain extent. For me, the eyes are just one more bit of skin I have to put makeup in order to look less dead. To keep it simple and pleasing to my inner lazy safe, I like to apply raw sienna from the ABH’s Renaissance palette all over the lid. For some depth, I take burnt orange from the same palette and blend it into the outer crease to give the illusion of larger eyelids. For a little colour and some added fun, I’ll apply Wet n Wild’s Color Icon comfort zone palette in this dark green duo chrome all over my lids (not beyond my crease) using my ring finger. Sometimes I want to get a little dark with my look, so I might tight line my eyes with a black eyeliner with Maybelline’s Line Tattoo crayon liner in black and blend it out. To complete the eyes, I like to lightly coat my lashes using (in my opinion) the best mascara on the market: Benefit’s Roller Lash. And as for my lips I’m turning to the cult classic: Fenty’s Gloss Bomb in fussy for the ultimate shine thanks to the tiny flecks of glitter and the pink tinge of the gloss.

And here is the finished look. It’s very simple and minimal as the title suggests. I find that with makeup it should enhance your natural beauty, not mask it. So I tend to lean towards a light wash of colour for my cheecks and eyes. Sometimes I will go a bit darker on the lips, but not today’s look. Today I kept it youthful and fresh.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by! If you want to see a little more of me during the week my Instagram and Twitter are linked in the top corner. Anyways, that’s it from me this week. You might be hearing from me again later this month, if not, I WILL see you next month.

-Paphapan.

This is not a sponsored post. All items were bought by me. Any/all affiliate will be in bold and underlined.

Thrifted

As an undergraduate I, like many students, was always strapped for cash and constantly on the lookout for ways to save money. Living on a budget means making sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean your wardrobe needs to suffer.

As an undergraduate I, like many students, was always strapped for cash and constantly on the lookout for ways to save money. Living on a budget means making sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean your wardrobe needs to suffer. Of course, I would still shop at all my high street favourites, but it was here that I discovered my love for the humble local charity shops. Over the years I’ve discovered all sorts of hidden gems: designer jackets; vintage bags; and even first edition books. Thrifting is a great way to save, have fun and most importantly give back to the community.

Last Saturday I spent my afternoon scouring each of the charity shops in my town. My objective: a corduroy skirt. Several hours later and only a few pounds lighter, my mission was complete. And I picked up a few bonus pieces along the way.

My first find was this burgundy striped bodycon dress from H&M. This would have been a university staple: quick to slip on and easy to style for those times I was running late for class (which may have happened a little more than it should…) In keeping with the varsity theme, I paired it with the Superman Converse I practically lived in during my third year and a navy bomber. Perfect for the morning dash to class: cute, comfortable, and easy to throw together and be out the door in five minutes. And for extra protection from the forces of evil and essay, the all primary colour palette calls to remind Superman’s classic outfit.

The second piece is yet another striped cotton jumper for the collection, this one from TopShop. I’m a huge fan of tops like this, as they are so versatile and can be dressed up or down to create a variety of looks across the whole smart/casual range. My initial thought was to match the jumper with a pair of black skinny jeans and strappy black heels. Whilst I still think this would be a great look, I’m a little burnt out on black and wanted an injection of colour: enter these mustard yellow culottes.

I really like how the white in the jumper helped compliment both pieces; bringing two contrasting colours together and giving off this very soft end of summer colour palette. Sticking with the soft tines, I wanted both the shoes and bag very muted; something to compliment the yellow of the pants. So, I chose to pair it with my trusty brogues from Clarks to help tie the smart/casual look I’m aiming for. I did the same for makeup: I stuck to warm brown tones for my eyes. As for the nude lips, I’m wearing Bobbi Brown Semi-Matte in the colour Brown with Nourishing Lip Colour in Beige Gold as my topper for the illusion of a plumper lip.

Last but certainly not least, my primary objective: this beautiful burgundy high-waisted skirt in corduroy. This skirt might be my favourite from the haul, not just for the way it looks, but also because I finally found something which works with the awesome red boots I have had sitting in my wardrobe for months. This look was a lot of fun to create; I’ve been waiting so long to wear these boots that I was determined to put together something that could be worn day and night. In addition, I wanted to keep things nice and simple on top: the t-shirt is from F&F and the denim jacket is French Connection which was thrifted many years ago. A find I will always rate as my best because it was brand new and I got it for less than £10. To ease the transition between the different textures and pattern of the top and skirt I picked out a black western style belt. Not only does this help define my waist under my oversized jacket, but it also ties the look together by, paradoxically, splitting it in half.

This was a great haul and the corduroy skirt, in particular, epitomises everything I love about thrifting. Not only did I manage to find exactly what I was looking for, but I also picked up a bunch of pieces I didn’t even know I wanted all for under £15 whilst giving to the community. And this is what I really like about thrifting; you never know what you’ll end up with, but you can always be certain it will be one of a kind rare find.

 Thank you for taking the time to stop by! If you want to see a little more of me during the week my Instagram and Twitter are linked in the top corner. Have a good week and I’ll see you soon.

-Paphapan.

This is not a sponsored post. All items featured were bought by me. All/any affiliate links are in bold and underlined.