Monday 10 February 2014

Hot Stuff! Vix's Guide To Staying Warm When Its Freezing

I woke this morning to the sound of the neighbour scraping the ice off their car, the cats refused to leave the house and even the postman had abandoned his shorts. What's a girl to do when she can't afford to turn on the central heating for more than a few hours a day, polar fleece is against her religion and the very thought of chunky knitwear makes her come over all peculiar?

Easy! Every morning I leap out of bed (yep, I do, I'm an annoying sod to live with) and head straight to my Wii Fit for a workout, starting with a step session with alternate days of yoga & muscle-building. By the time I've worked up a sweat, showered and dressed, Jon's got a pot of banana porridge on the go.

Ganesh pendant (handmade by the fabularse Helga!)
Walk round town and you'd be forgiven for thinking that warm weather gear only comes in two shades, grey or black. Wrong! Layer up and there's no reason on earth why you can't wear a vintage summer dress all year long (or a '70s nightie, in my case). Synthetics are fabulously warm and, when you're battling with non-stop torrential rain, they dry in next to no time, too.

Recycled wrapper bangle (the always inspirational Senora Allnut), zip bangle (made by me) and the rest from the market. Sinful Colors nail paint from my gorgeous mate, Em.

Those of a beige disposition, look away now...

Faux suede ankle boots (Off the market, £5)

Best thing about a maxi dress? You can get away with sticking anything on underneath it - Kiss Me Kitty psychedelic spandex leggings, insane socks (thanks, Krista), hideous baby blue thermal underwear and vests a granny would shudder at (which I'm not sharing).
I'm linking my you-can't-bloody-miss-me style over at Patti's Visible Monday & also Shoe Shine over at Bella's.

1970s nightdress (from those Sweet Squirrels) worn with blue fake fur jacket (Catalogue clearance shop, £7, 2012), 1970s St Michael bag (the wonderful Clare)

Of course, the best thing for keeping warm is by consuming masses of spicy, homemade Indian food.

On a trip to Kerala a couple of years ago the lady of the house we stayed at (see HERE) shared her basic curry gravy recipe. I make this once a week and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container.

You'll need:
200gms red onions
100gms chopped or tinned tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
10gms fresh ginger, peeled
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
8 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps veg oil
1 cup of water 

Finely slice the onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger, pop into a food mixer (with the water) and blend to a smooth paste.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large saucepan, then add the paste.

Add the chilli, coriander, garam masala and salt & gently cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

Remove from heat & cool before refrigerating. It'll keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

We buy cheap, seasonal veg from the market, roughly chop it, cook until al dente (I hate soggy veg!), stick it in a pan (allowing approx. 4oz of veg per person) with 6 tsp of the gravy, half a tin of tomatoes, 1/2 a cup of water and a few curry leaves. We simmer until thoroughly reheated and serve with basmati rice, chapatis or a wholemeal roti (or chips, if Jon gets his way!)

Try it and I bet you'll never buy another jar of curry paste or pre-made sauce again!

Hope you had a bostin' weekend. We had a blast at the vintage fair, sold lots of stuff and met friends old and new. A special mention to Tina, the lovely lady in the gorgeous 1960s dress who reads my blog, thanks for coming along! Your kind words made both Jon & I a bit emotional.

There's another Indian travel post scheduled for later this week and, hopefully, some more vintage finds to share with you, too.

See you soon!


  1. Your dress/nightie is heavenly. What about some wrist warmers though? Would that spoil the look?
    I'm pleased the fair was a success. Might just have to try that recipe. My husband is half Indian and neither of us have ever cooked it. Shame on us! xxx

  2. Glourious look !
    Must try that yummy looking curry of yours - we love hot and spicy !

  3. Hi my dear!! I do make my own curry sauces but haven't thought to pre make and store in the fridge- such a fantastic tip! You're looking lovely and vibrant, love those boots!! Xx

  4. I can vouch for how fab that curry recipe is, since you emailed it to me ages ago, do you remember? Sharwoods, eat your heart out!
    I completely agree about winter clothes, people do seem to go for dark'n'drab, don't they? Far better to layer up the vintage colour with some fab KMKs (been wearing mine loads) and socks and boots underneath a delicious maxi, whether it's intended as day wear or not! Loving the braid and little pearlie buttons on your nightie, and of course you accessorise like a demon! (I nearly put like a pro, but that's a whole other outfit...)
    Stay warm, stay gorgeous, and well done on another successful fair; looooove ya! xxxxxx

  5. You look ahumazzzinggg!! I always say its good to wet bright colours when it's grey & miserable outside.
    Have been loving the India posts - about the only thing that makes me feel warm!! Can we have a close up of the dress you wore in the first post about the abandoned house - looked love but couldn't see enough of it! Xxx

  6. In an attempt to be more organised when it comes to food and grocery shopping, I'm going to give this recipe a try!

  7. Your outfit is a lovely sight on a grey overcast day. Your boots are super.
    It was my birthday on Saturday so we went to Leamington and visited Blighty Bazaar - I loved it. We're lucky that our heating costs are in with our rent so kind of take it for granted in having the heating on when it's cold outside.

  8. the spicy recipe sound yummy - have to try!
    thank you for giving it away :-)
    and yes - the secret are the right underthings and "sports". i usually live at 17°c in our house, 20° i find very warm. but entering someone else´s house or a pup/restaurant i start to melt............

  9. Looking fabulous as ever.
    I really feel the cold so I love my thermal vests, they make such a difference and no-one knows you're wearing one - unless you chose to show them!

  10. Love that sunglasses-inducing ensemble!

    And I cannot wait to get my chops around that curry sauce - don't you spoil us :D

  11. You my darling know how to stay warm and thank you for this recipe I have to try it! I couldn't agree more about wearing the bright colors and layers it's saved me every winter! You look beautiful in that nightie with your KMK and those hot heels, always with the sexy heels- love!

    I'm so happy to hear the fair was a success and I wanna know what Tina said! Are you around today for a chat?!? Last week was mad and we leave on Thursday. Ok honey I'll talk to you soon!!!!
    Love you!!!!xxxxxxxx

  12. Girl you look good, very good, it must be all that Indian sunshine you got -
    I must try and remember to wear my maxi skirts, perfect for our polor vortex and true you can wear anything funky and warm underneath

    I will try this curry paste for sure, so easy to do and must be so tasty -
    I'm sure D will like it -

    Keep warm!


  13. Ah you are a colourful vision on these grey days. Though I am not really of a beige disposition I do wear and like a lot of black clothing, but like to add colour in there somewhere!

    Have to say I have adapted your methods of layer up underneath long skirts works a treat and even get the youngest to stick on leggings as she loves her dresses.

    Mmm that curry gravy does look yum might have to give that a go always like to cook things from scratch when I can and curry is about the only thing I don't apart from one receipe I have.

    Glad you had a good weekend sounds like hard work but fun.

    P x

  14. Looks delicious - definitely trying out the curry gravy recipe. Yum!
    And agreed on the layers, I tend to wear all variety of odd socks, tights etc to keep warm under a dress or skirt.

  15. Looks delicious - definitely trying out the curry gravy recipe. Yum!
    And agreed on the layers, I tend to wear all variety of odd socks, tights etc to keep warm under a dress or skirt.

  16. I layer up with thermals if I can keep them hidden. I have to try your curry gravy recipe!

  17. I love the way you layer, what great tights and boots. And the way you eat always has me hungry - I'm a veg. too and your dinners all look scrumptious. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xox, and stay cozy.

  18. delish.....I obsess about a similar Kerelan one with the addition of coconut cream..... the persian chicken barley soup I'm currently living on works brilliantly for vegitarians too....take out chicken and add mushrooms, or chickpeas or root veg....or all of them!!! Stay warmx

  19. What a complete post Vix. from the clothes, the exercise, the:
    Those of a beige disposition, look away now...
    And now the perfect curry from a real India Lover, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I am so passing it to Victor so he can cook it, lol
    Do not worry about commenting( it is a pain when you feel you have to do it, well don´t with me just visit when you can I know you are there.
    Loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I am not sending sunshine cos you are sunshine

  20. stylish posts, travel pix, home decorating tips and now cooking? Dang, you're a Renaissance woman!

  21. I'm thinking you have no desire to visit my Idaho, eh? Too chilly right now for a beautiful night dress. Too bad! Although my daughter did get sent home from junior high for wearing a vintage slip as a dress. And the next week for wearing old men's pajamas to school. ; ) Needless to say I was ticked off at the school!!! She looked so dang cute! Just like you!!!

  22. Keep warm and carry on, love it! The crazy legs are fantastic and so are you.

  23. Hello loves,
    What a stunning nightie, much too pretty to keep hidden under the duvet and as usual you look gorgeous.
    Those leggings are mad but obviously very toasty. Vests a granny would shudder at ??....Mm I've got some of those too. Glad to hear the fair was a success, did you sell the yellow cat? xxxx

  24. Oh yes ... I always have my vest on underneath!!
    That recipe sounds great ... have printed it off and will give it a go.
    M x

  25. First ... thank you for the recipe for the curry gravy sauce. Nick is watching over my shoulder right now, and agrees that this is something we are going to try for sure. Sounds delicious and so handy to have ready to go.

    Second ... you are wonderful in your colourful cold weather wear. Not to be a big old complainer about the weather but we would freeze our heinies off if we were to go out without a hat, scarf and gloves right now. Regardless of our relative levels of cold, there is no question about it ... your look is way better than what I've been sporting lately. Yup, I am one of those black coat ladies, although I have 3 that I switch around! I love that electric blue so much.

  26. I laughed when I read about the postman. Exactly the same here...if the mailman abandons his shorts {hmmm, that came out wrong}, it is seriously cold weather.

    Love, love, love those suede booties! Your whole outfit sings Vix!

  27. Hot stuff indeed, darling. Although I don't mind a winter woolly and a chunky knit, you know how adverse I am to the fleece. I have been layering up and colouring up because this weather is enough to make anyone feel dismal. Your boots alone banish the winter-shift-yer-ares-into-spring blues, let alone them being attached to your gorgeous self.
    I'm cheap and cheerful on the food front so your curry sauce will no nicely. I don't like jars but I'm not ace at curry from scratch so this should do the trick.
    Loves ya bits.xxxxx

  28. You look fantastic!! I love the tights and crazy socks!!
    I am so making your curry gravy sauce this week-

  29. even though i'm a beige lover i did not look away. i love brights on you. they look fabulous! i also love your staying warm hints. and love a peek into the simple meals you eat. i don't feel so alone now. :)

  30. I always layer my clothes in winter and my wardrobe has a lot of things that can and are worn all year round!

  31. I wanna see the thermal vest! why can't I see the thermal vest...*sulk* ;-) haha Huge curry lovers here, I might have to try out that recipe, cheers ♥

  32. Feck yeah, there is no need for dingey dressing in Winter! The world around one may be gray, but we don't need to be! You'd brighten up the grayest morning, my lovely! The nightie is hot to trot!! Such a great print and colour. Synthetics are the bob in Winter, for sure! And those boots are insanely awesome!!!
    Your gravy recipe rocks, I've been completely won over to making Indian from scratch, period! I used to be shit at it, but now I think I'm shit hot! I envy that pot, though.........
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

  33. Even your pots are all kinds of vintage amazing Vix - how cool is that pot! I have a lot of friends that say they love the 1970s style frocks I wear but would never wear them because they are "nasty" polyester. Whatever, I freaking LOVE polyester - it is SO SO warm and like you say, dries almost instantly! I love those Kiss Me Kitty leggings :D Also here in Wellington during winter, you'd think black and brown are the only colours that exist in the universe...If you're going to have to wear a million different layers, you may as well wear a million different colours as well.

  34. Love your ultra colourful ensemble ... It really doesn't look wintry at all. Just how cold is cold over there in your neck of the woods?

  35. Lovely outfit and the jacket rocks, but aren't your arms cold? Funny, I just did a post on beige. I'm in a neutral mood this week, though I did don a hot pink jacket to brave the rain and greyness today. Admiring you for jumping out of bed to exercise or do yoga. It must make your cheery mood practically invincible! Xo

  36. Loving your tips for keeping warm. I especially love the idea of layering up bright summer clothes, winter clothes can certainly get a bit boring. I tend to layer mini dresses over leggings for winter. Looking amazing as always. The blue outfit looks electric!

  37. oohhh, I'm loving so much your layering & accessorizing talent!!, You Rock!!
    You look so stunning and gorgeous, love your maxi-nightie and that faux-fur, and particularly love your bijouterie!!, fabulousness in movement!!
    And thanks for sharing that recipe, it looks easy and tasty (two wonderful qualities on a recipe!)
    besos & picante

  38. Great outfit Vix! I wish I could leap out of bed like you, it can take me up to half an hour to drag myself out of bed on a work morning x

  39. I've made your sauce, and i am going to make your aloo gobi with it on wednesday! You're an inspiration on every front. I'll let you know how it goes. Congratulations on looking so wonderfully colourful despite the grey skies. I'll tAke a rainbow over a rain cloud any day. Wish you lived on my street, seeing your outfits in real life would cheer me up no end. Those boots are fantastic and i love the sneaky peak at all your psychedelic layers. We have a new heating policy after they doubled our payment when i rang the real figures in. Shocking! Xxxx

  40. You make it look downright warm where you are!! Gorgeous colors and a great read. I'm definitely trying your recipe (once I translate the measurements into good ol' american) :-) LOVE YOU!!!

  41. Your outfit is like the ladylike equivalent of a onesie (shudder)- wearing your nightie out!!! You=fab! X

  42. You look fantastic! That 70's nightie is so beautiful and you have worn it so well. Aren't maxi dresses great for that? What a neat little trick at keeping warm. I only wish that I could find more that fit me properly, I'm a little on the short side. After reading that recipe I must go and get some breakfast now, it sound delicious and has suddenly sparked my hunger!

  43. And here I am dreaming about the cooler weather! I don't want to endure freezing weather, just not bloody scorching anymore! You make all of your warmer clothes look fabulous (but then you can make anything look amazing!) and I love that adorable yellow handled bag. The curry looks delicious - I will definitely give it a try. XXX

  44. I've been trying to wear some bright colour every day just to keep my spirits up. Even with your layers under your dress, it still wouldn't be enough to keep you warm over here!

    Your morning routine makes me exhausted just hearing about it. It's enough of a challenge for me to get out of bed, showered, dressed and to work on time. The curry gravy and banana porridge sound delish!

  45. I will try the recipe too, I'm craving curry at the moment! you look gorgeous in the cold, your leggings, funky socks and hot boots are all flaming brilliant and they keep you warm, bonus! I can't even touch some fleece, don't know what that's about, goes through me! Mr F is the morning person here! x x x

  46. Chic and fabulous as always dear Vix!
    I agree layering is a must. I always wear (ugly) thermal underwear under my dresses.
    That curry looks so delicious (and also easy to make) i deffo have to try it!
    Yay for another Indian travel post!!! Can't wait!!! xx Tani

  47. You certainly are hot stuff Vix... looking glam as ever despite the horrendous weather :-)
    Thanks for the curry base recipe... such a great way to prepare easy meals all week!

  48. Ooh, I see you strutting like Mick Jagger under your maxi. Those are my kind of legs. You are so right about people taking refuge in dark colours. I'm so thankful for people like you who show that it's not hard to add colour and stay warm all at the same time. It's not rocket science. Thanks for the recipe.

  49. YOU ARE FAB-U-LOUS! Yes! colour in winter! i hate those mags that tell you to wear mulberry, chocolate and maroon in winter. BORING! Its really hard to find bright winter coats here. actually any good coat here! (thats not a boring sad black sack) i ordered heaps from ASOS one year when i was rolling in it and got one in every colour. the yellow one is my favourite!

  50. You really are an inspiration. I had to lol when I read this post because here I am bundled up in a motley crew of old jumpers topped off by, yes, a fleece. Bag lady chic. You have such a great attitude!

  51. Nothing like some bright colours to brighten up one's day :)
    You look fabulous as always.
    PS: your food makes me want to go for a curry at lunch time :D

  52. Beyond fab Vix! I love, love that purple jacket eversince you got it and I'm going to try that receipe - where can buy the garam masala? xx

  53. On the run but had to say that you look like the first hyacynth up through the snow, but with better colors! Lovely ... do the shoes and socks and tights show with every step? Hope they do! I can see elbow length gloves, too! I also wanted to note how much I appreciated your "how to stay warm"... on my way-too-early trip to the "city" I grabbed all black because it was no trouble. Caught myself in a mirror and saw I was gray from lack of sleep anyway, and had the real kind of bed-head. And, yikes ... the black was beyond ugly. Gotta do better, and your post drove home the point.
    Now, I'm going to go on quest for garam masala. I'm doomed, but there's always Amazon ...
    Thanks for the bright and beautiful images!

  54. Spicy food to stay warm? Well, bring it on! I think that will really keep anybody warm ;)

    Mrs Jack Of All Trades
    Dubai, UAE

  55. I'm leaving for Mexico in 2 weeks and I can't wait to run around in sundresses and bikini's all day long. This weather stinks.

  56. That blue fur jacket is one of my favourites on you! It's been so bleeding cold hasn't it?? I'm at my wits end dressing so thank you for the inspiration with this post! (Though I must admit I am more partial to staying under my duvet on cold mornings than leaping to daily excercises...)
    That curry paste recipe looks amazing!

  57. My first ever blog comment! It was lovely to meet you and Jon last Saturday. I found your blog quite by chance over a year ago and I look forward to reading each and every post! Some have had me giggling on the sofa so loudly that my sons question whether their mum has finally lost the plot whilst other posts such as 'Never say Never - Sept 2013' have really made me stop and re-evaluate certain aspects of my life not least having the confidence to wear my 1960s dress (a favourite charity shop find) ! So thank you once again Vix X x Tina

  58. Sheesh! You're killing me! Even the POT you're COOKING in is awesome! You blow my mind!

  59. Hi honey I had to leave another comment because I miss you!!!! Got your email today but still could not get you on Skype, I hate technical difficulties. Did you get any of my emails from yesterday or today? That sucks about your internet! I'm off to SD tomorrow so we MUST TALK when I get back. VIX withdrawals! Not good :)
    LOVE YOU BABE! I'll enjoy some sunshine and think of you and Jon!

  60. Love that Ganesh pendant and that you stay you all through the year x

  61. Thank you for the recipe. What are curry leaves? I have never heard of them. Marjorie

  62. Ok now my mouth is watering :-) That looks so tasty and i can just imagine the smell to may have to try this one soon :-) dee xx

  63. You won't believe this! I just got your email and went to respond and now the email won't even go through it says your email address is invalid. FUCK!

  64. Oooh…that recipe looks doable! Might have to give that a go.

    You as usual look like sunshine wrapped in a rainbow.

    With our weather I can't go outside with any skin exposed. At -20 with windchill the skin freezes in less than 10 seconds. You would HATE it here right now.

    Glad the sale was a success. How great to have someone stop by that reads your blog and touches your heart. Must have made your day.

    I only wish I could jump out of bed in the morning with that much energy! I think it is this winter. So depressing.


  65. The Indian cuisine you cook must taste heavenly (and wonderfully spicy). Yum! It's literally freezing here too but I console myself knowing that my favourite season, Spring, will arrive in 5 weeks or so!
    Your jewelry is fascinating. Congratulations on maintaining that youngsters' physique. If I ever tried "leaping" out of bed I'd need to be picked back up off the floor. I just don't move that well first thing (creak, groan). Ooh, banana porridge sounds good. Reading these recipes is making my mouth water.

  66. I do love a good curry, we may give this a try, it looks gorgeous!

    You're wrapped up nice and snugly, but you still manage to look summery, I love it!

    Have a lovely day xx

  67. Head. To. Toe. You shine, Vix.
    Thank you for that.


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Lots of love, Vix