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There’s a rush of excitement on Sunday, as the Sun creates a conjunction with Mercury retrograde. We’re eager to share our thoughts and connect with others as these heavenly bodies join. Use this transit to get organised for the week ahead and enjoy catching up with loved ones and friends. Has Mercury retrograde got your brain feeling a little foggy? The messenger planet re-enters charming Libra on Tuesday, helping us to navigate all sorts of social situations. We’re more open to understanding each other’s motivations and can think less selfishly. The same day, beauty-loving Venus makes her way into stylish Libra. We can enjoy this transit by taking a little extra time to get dressed or spending some extra time on our skin or hair. Venus’s trip through Libra also impacts our relationships and makes us more conscious of our time. We’ll be able to prioritise our schedules with clarity, devoting time to those who build us up and avoiding those who drain us.The Moon waxes full in steady Taurus on Saturday, creating the second full moon of October — a phenomenon sometimes called a blue moon, that’s especially magical given that it falls on Halloween. This Moon is conjunct with rebellious Uranus in retrograde, creating electric energy. A heightened sense of anxiety is in the air, making it a prime time to focus on taking care of ourselves and to honor our emotions.Our need for independence strengthens on Saturday, as the Sun opposes innovative Uranus in retrograde. We may feel the need to challenge ourselves and others during this radical transit. The key thing to remember: Be flexible and welcome the unexpected. Change does not always announce itself.AriesMarch 21 to April 19How have you changed your approach to recreation, Aries? You may be inspired to explore new ways to spend your free time on Sunday, as the pleasure-seeking Sun in your 8th house of transformation, mystery, and dramatic change creates a conjunction with routine-ruling Mercury retrograde. Brainstorm with friends in your bubble who want to break out of a rut. On Tuesday, romantic Venus re-enters into flirty Libra. You may get a chance to impress your crush, or feel a new sense of excitement in your relationship. It could feel as though emotions are building at home on Halloween night, as the domestic-ruling Moon waxes full in stubborn Taurus. This Moon is conjunct with idealistic Uranus in retrograde, which beckons that we pay attention to an incoming change in our foundations. Keep your head up and your mind sharp during this transit.TaurusApril 20 to May 20Take your time to decompress, Taurus. On Tuesday, wellness-minded Venus makes her way into beauty-loving Libra. You’ll have a chance to enhance your self-care routine and bring more balance into your life. The Moon waxes full in warmhearted Taurus on Saturday, Halloween night. Prepare to manage unexpected changes as the full Moon forms a conjunction with career-ruling Uranus in retrograde. Allow yourself to find the path of least resistance and move forward with grace. During moments on Saturday, you may feel as though the ground beneath you is shifting as the domestic-ruling Sun in your 7th house of partnerships, contracts, and business opposes status-minded Uranus in retrograde. It’s time to let go of what’s no longer serving you, and strike out on a new path.GeminiMay 21 to June 20The week starts off on a bright note, Gemini. On Sunday, the Sun in your 6th house of health, order, and service creates a conjunction with ruling Mercury retrograde. This quick-thinking transit can help you to get organised for the week ahead. You may notice that it’s easier to set boundaries with others starting Tuesday, as ruling Mercury retrograde re-enters considerate Libra. The messenger planet helps you navigate social situations and find the right words in dealing with any challenges you might face. Your money-ruling Moon waxes full in responsible Taurus on Saturday, Halloween night and creates a conjunction with unpredictable Uranus in retrograde. You’ll be in the mood to save money, but you might hit some roadblocks. Try to be thrifty where you can — there’s no shame in being frugal.CancerJune 21 to July 22Are you interested in starting a crystal collection, Cancer? You could be drawn towards curating more spiritual accessories on Sunday, when the materialistic Sun in your 5th house of creativity, pleasure, and romance creates a conjunction with inner growth-governing Mercury retrograde. Have fun getting in touch with your inner witch during this delightful transit. You’re ready to get your space in tip-top shape starting Tuesday, as domestic-ruling Venus makes her way into harmonious Libra. Use this transit to bring order to your home and add some style. Allow yourself to express your emotions and come out of your shell on Saturday, Halloween night, as your ruling Moon waxes full in loving Taurus. Expect the unexpected as best you can, as the Moon forms a conjunction with restless Uranus in retrograde. LeoJuly 23 to August 22Cash is on your mind, Leo. On Sunday, the ruling Sun in your 4th house of family, instincts, and foundations creates a conjunction with money-minded Mercury retrograde, bringing money to the forefront of your conversations with family and loved ones. You’re ready to let go of a little control at work starting Tuesday, as career-ruling Venus makes her way into cooperative Libra. This transit can help you listen more carefully to your team and adjust responsibilities to help drive your efforts forward. You may feel a little tension in your romantic relationships on Saturday, as the ruling Sun in your 4th house of family, instincts, and foundations opposes romantic ruling Uranus in retrograde. Take time to gather your thoughts and recalibrate your perspective during this challenging transit.VirgoAugust 23 to September 22You’ve been given a second chance, Virgo. Starting Tuesday, status-minded Mercury retrograde re-enters peacekeeping Libra, creating an incredibly harmonious energy at work. Use this helpful transit to make nice with colleagues. You’re in the mood to reward yourself beginning Tuesday, as money-ruling Venus makes her way into luxury-loving Libra. Why not invest in something that you need, and take time to pick quality over quantity? Pad your schedule on Saturday, as the Sun in your 3rd house of communication, thought, and community opposes routine-ruling Uranus in retrograde. If you give yourself extra time to get things done, you’ll avoid stress and stay calm and collected.LibraSeptember 23 to October 22Learn from your mistakes, Libra. You’ve got the opportunity to make things right with yourself starting Tuesday, as inner growth-ruling Mercury retrograde re-enters sincere Libra. Try not to rush yourself and take time to heal during this transit. Connect with nature, journal, and practice gratitude as Mercury inhabits your sign. On Tuesday, ruling Venus makes her way into sweet Libra, helping you instill healthy boundaries and protect your powerful energy. On Saturday, the status-ruling Moon waxes full in proud Taurus. Be alert during this moon phase, as the Moon is conjunct with rebellious Uranus in retrograde, which could bring some unexpected factors or people into your work. ScorpioOctober 23 to November 21Speak up, Scorpio. People are ready to hear what you’ve got to say on Sunday, as the influence-ruling Sun in your 1st house of self, first impressions, and appearance creates a conjunction with communication-ruling Mercury retrograde. Don’t be shy during this inspirational transit. On Tuesday, affectionate Venus makes her way into playful Libra. You’ll be feeling extra flirtatious and charming today. If you share a space with loved ones, you may feel a little clash of energy regarding your goals on Saturday, Halloween, as the status-minded Sun in your 1st house opposes domestic-ruling Uranus in retrograde. If you’re having trouble seeing eye to eye on your priorities, take time to get some space and be ready to discuss your reasoning once this transit has passed.SagittariusNovember 22 to December 21Let it all out, Sagittarius. Express your thoughts and desires on Sunday, as the Sun in your 12th house of inner growth, vulnerability, and conclusion creates a conjunction with passion-ruling Mercury retrograde. Remember that your words have power — use this transit to help manifest your intentions. Love- and career-ruling Mercury retrograde re-enters fair-minded Libra on Tuesday, allowing you to find balance in your romantic and professional relationships. This transit can help you to smooth over any misunderstandings or personality clashes that you may have had. Take time to enjoy the simple things starting Tuesday, as routine-ruling Venus makes her way into pleasure-loving Libra. Make the most of this transit by enhancing your daily routines, trying new recipes, or just making more time to reconnect with yourself.CapricornDecember 22 to January 19Reach out to a friend, Capricorn. On Sunday, the Sun in your 11th house of groups, friendships, and goals creates a conjunction with routine-ruling Mercury retrograde, making even the most boring tasks feel fun as long as you’re doing them with a friend. You’re still in the mood to collaborate on Tuesday, when career-ruling Venus makes her way into team-playing Libra. Use your natural talents to help build up your colleagues, and keep the mood light and fun. On Saturday, your love-ruling Moon waxes full in affectionate Taurus, making your heart feel full. Money may come into play on this day, too. Be on the lookout for unexpected purchases, costs, or shopping trips as the Moon creates a conjunction with materialistic Uranus in retrograde.AquariusJanuary 20 to February 18Got a DIY project in mind, Aquarius? Get inspired to beautify your space starting Tuesday, when domestic-ruling Venus makes her way into idealistic Libra. You may be feeling a little dreamy, so just make sure that you’ve got a solid plan before you put any holes in your walls. You’re on top of your to-do list and ready to take on the world on Saturday, Halloween night, as your routine-ruling Moon waxes full in reliable Taurus. Keep that can-do spirit on a high, and brace yourself for swift change as the Moon forms a conjunction with ruling Uranus in retrograde. You may be ready to switch gears or approach a new perspective. The passion-ruling Sun in your 10th house of career, structure, and public image opposes ruling Uranus in retrograde as well on Saturday. Let yourself look past roadblocks and conjure new ways to accomplish your goals.PiscesFebruary 19 to March 20Are you craving a little break from routine, Pisces? You could be struck with inspiration on Sunday as the schedule-savvy Sun in your 9th house of exploration, adventure, and belief creates a conjunction with domestic-ruling Mercury retrograde. Look at your home from a new viewpoint, and work to invigorate your space to foster your imagination. You’re feeling more centred starting Tuesday, as love- and domestic-ruling Mercury retrograde re-enters diplomatic Libra. Although the messenger planet is moving in reverse, he’s helping you to navigate your romantic and personal relationships with finesse. Make an effort to write down your ideas on Saturday night, as your creative-ruling Moon waxes full in Taurus. You could find yourself creating something brilliant and new as the Moon forms a conjunction with impulsive Uranus in retrograde. Stay ready.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Can An Astrology Dating App Lead You To Love?Use Mercury Retrograde To Spice Up Your Sex LifeThis Scorpio Season, Lean Into Your Magical Side
Washing up is relentless. Relentless. No matter how often you work through a big load or how efficiently you get your plates on the drying rack, you turn around and another load has magicked itself out of thin air. If you exist, you produce washing up. It's like a byproduct of carbon dioxide at this point.The pandemic has only emphasised this small but constant annoyance. If you are one of the many confined to your home by the restrictions, you may have noticed that days, weeks and months bleed into each other with only washing up to punctuate mealtimes. And if you don't do it promptly it's always there, looming on the periphery.So recipes that lessen the literal load are only a good thing, right? Making lunch ahead or batch cooking breakfast might seem like a relic of a time when 'going to the office' was a thing. But it's as useful now as it was then. Meal prepping doesn't just make meals easier, it removes the possibility of having to work through a mountain of dishes in the middle of the day. All you need to wash up is cutlery and a plate or bowl. Lovely stuff!With that in mind we've picked some of our favourite recipes from the brilliant food writer Sam Gates' new book, The Batch Cook Book. Save money, cook ahead and wash up less!Tarragon, Fennel And Cider One-Pot Chicken Serves 4-6Ingredientsknob of butter1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling2 garlic cloves, crushed1 fennel bulb, cored, halved and finely sliced, trimmings saved1 Spanish onion, finely sliced300g mushrooms (any type), thickly sliced1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves, plus extra to serve330ml cider1.6–1.8kg (large) chicken2 tbsp wholegrain mustard4 tbsp single creamsalt and black pepper to seasonInstructions1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ Gas mark 4.2. Heat the butter and oil together in a flameproof casserole. Add the garlic, fennel, onion, mushrooms and chopped tarragon. Cook for 10–12 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Pour in the cider and bring to the boil.3. Oil the chicken and season well with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and roast, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, baste and roast uncovered for a further 25–35 minutes, basting occasionally, until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through.4. Remove the chicken from the casserole and keep warm.5. Put the casserole on the hob and bring the liquid to the boil. Cook for 8–10 minutes until reduced by half, then turn the heat right down and add the mustard and cream and gently warm without boiling. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if needed. Pour the sauce with all its bits into a jug, sprinkle the chicken with extra tarragon leaves and serve.LeftoversIf any meat is left on the chicken, strip it from the bones and place in an airtight container with leftover sauce. This will keep in the fridge for 2 days. Reheat it gently until piping hot (but without boiling) and serve with couscous or rice. You can repurpose the leftover chicken carcass to make a delicious stock.Photo Courtesy of The Batch Cook Book.Smoky Aubergine And Fennel TagineServes 6Ingredients2 tsp fennel seeds2 tsp ground cumin2 tsp ground coriander1 tsp smoked paprika1 tsp turmeric2 cinnamon sticks4 tbsp olive oil2 aubergines, trimmed and cut into 1cm cubes1 red onion, finely chopped300g fennel, halved, trimmed and thinly sliced, fronds reserved3 garlic cloves, crushed1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes250ml vegetable stock1 tsp runny honey2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsedfinely grated zest and juice of 1 lemonsalt and black pepper to seasonrice or couscous, cooked, to serveInstructions1. Dry-fry the fennel seeds over a medium–high heat until they start jumping in the pan, then crush them in a pestle and mortar. Place the crushed fennel in a small bowl with the cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric and cinnamon sticks.2. In a large, deep, frying pan or cast-iron casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over a medium–high heat until very hot. Fry the aubergine quickly until lightly golden brown all over. Remove the cubes and set aside.3. Turn the heat down and add the remaining oil, along with the onion, fennel, garlic and chilli. Cook gently for 6–8 minutes until soft, then add the bowl of spices and cook for 2 minutes.4. Tip the aubergine cubes back into the pan along with the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes until the sauce is reduced. Stir in the honey and season to taste with salt and pepper.5. Add the chickpeas and cook for 8–10 minutes until warmed through, then add the lemon zest and juice. Sprinkle with the reserved fennel fronds and serve with rice or couscous.LeftoversIt makes a generous amount, but freezes well. To freeze, cool the tagine completely and transfer it to airtight bags or boxes. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, then reheat slowly until piping hot throughout. Photo Courtesy of The Batch Cook Book.Curried Smoked Fish ChowderServes 4Ingredients1 tbsp olive oil1 celery stick, finely chopped1 onion, finely chopped1 leek, finely chopped1 carrot, peeled and grated½ tsp medium curry powder½ tsp ground cumin½ tsp ground coriander½ tsp turmeric1 tbsp plain flour500ml chicken stock1 potato, washed and cut into 1cm cubes300g skinless smoked haddock, chopped into 3cm chunks3 tbsp single cream1 x 150g tin of sweetcorn, drainedsalt and black pepper to season1 tbsp chopped chives, to serveInstructions1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat and add the chopped celery, onion and leek and the grated carrot. Cover and cook gently for about 10–15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Tip in the spices and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.2. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir well, then gradually pour in the chicken stock. Add the diced potato and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer gently for 6–8 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the potatoes are cooked through.3. Add the haddock and simmer for 3–4 minutes until cooked, stirring gently. Stir in the cream and sweetcorn, warm through, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the chives to serve.LeftoversIf not eating immediately, allow to cool completely, then refrigerate. To reheat, place in a saucepan and heat very gently until warmed through, but do not allow to boil. It will keep for a few days in the fridge. Recommended served with a poached egg on top.Photo Courtesy of The Batch Cook Book.Brown Book Group, Little The Batch Cook Book, $, available at WaterstonesLike what you see? 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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, our spending habits seem to have taken a sharp left turn. With many of us spending more time on our devices than usual, our propensity for online shopping has skyrocketed, as boredom and stress fuel our online expenditure. According to new data, 61% of British consumers admitted to shopping more online during the pandemic, with 89% saying they will likely continue to shop online at the same level or more post-lockdown. Newly released sales figures from e-commerce sites like ASOS confirm this sentiment: the e-tailer has quadrupled its profits since quarantine began. With many people unable to shop IRL during the pandemic, the pivot towards online shopping was to be expected but as the COVID-19 crisis continues, it's important to make sure that our online shopping experience is as sustainable as possible. Many of us have made the move towards responsible loungewear in the last few months and the next big item on our winter wish list is eco-friendly knitwear. Knitted garments are often made of plastic-based materials like nylon and acrylic, making the switch to sustainable knitted goods feel difficult – but it doesn't have to be. When it comes to shopping for sustainable knitwear, one of the best courses of action you can take is buying pieces made entirely from one material, like 100% wool, so that the garment can be recycled further down the line. You could also give an old knitted item a second lease of life by shopping vintage or keep things made for purpose by shopping with small-batch companies. Or you could shop cruelty-free knits by looking for pieces made from materials like organic cotton and Econyl. Whichever way you want to shop sustainably this winter, we’ve got you covered with a selection of the cosiest sustainable knits online right now. Click through the slideshow ahead to shop our favourite styles...Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.While the most sustainable knit you can wear is one you already own, vintage is the next best thing. With secondhand sellers digging out tons of one-off treasures, the best chance of scoring affordable and one-of-a-kind knits is to shop vintage. Look to the '70s for Fair Isle and Austrian knits, the '80s for novelty jumpers and the '90s for sleek button-down cardigans.the wilde shop Vintage Rad Hand Knit Fluffy Jumper, $, available at asos marketplaceMoodshop Girls 80s Vintage Iceland Handknitted Heavy Wool Jumper, $, available at asos marketplaceUrban Renewal Salvaged Deadstock Cable Knit Vest, $, available at Urban OutfittersBEYOND RETRO 1990s Button Front Cardigan, $, available at Beyond RetroMissoni Wool Cardigan, $, available at Vestiaire CollectiveOne of the easiest ways to shop sustainably is to buy from brands that have lower production levels than major retailers. Indie labels like The Knitter are a perfect example, selling a small range of handmade, 100% merino wool jumpers and cardigans. Cutting out the long production line, shopping small can help make your wardrobe more ethical and sustainable. The Knitter Ugly Jumper, $, available at The KnitterThe Knotty Ones Heartbreaker Sweater, $, available at The Knotty OnesNavy Grey The Rib Funnel, $, available at Navy GreyLenvers Lucie Wool Sweater, $, available at LenversAlly Bee Fishermans Rib Recycled Cashmere Sweater, $, available at Ally BeeFinding cosy knitwear which is also cruelty-free can feel like an impossible task. For jumpers and cardigans that contain no animal fibres, it's best to look to larger sustainable brands like Everlane and Reformation. Carrying a range of 100% organic cotton-based knits, you can sleep soundly knowing no wool was used in the production process. Armed Angels Yunaa Jumper, $, available at Sancho'sEverlane The Mesh Soft Cotton Crew, $, available at EverlaneKing & Tuckfield Cable-Knit Linen and Cotton-Blend Sweater, $, available at Net-A-PorterToast Indigo Cotton Sweater, $, available at ToastReformation Sami Cropped Sweater, $, available at ReformationMade to order is the latest wave hitting the sustainability movement, as brands produce only what's in demand, meaning less waste overall. HADES, our favourite Scottish label, is perfect for those looking for pure wool jumpers with cute and cult graphic prints. If you're in search of something more classic, look to Birdsong for an array of crochet cardigans.Hope Macaulay Venus Chunky Knit Sweater Vest, $, available at Hope MacaulayBirdsong x Katie Jones Recycled Denim Crochet Cardigan, $, available at BirdsongHades Alphabet T Knit, $, available at HadesVeganLoops Vegan Hand Knit Striped Chunky Oversized Jumper, $, available at EtsyPeople Tree Maisie Stripe Jumper, $, available at People TreeGenevieve Sweeney Lambswool Slouch Turtleneck Jumper, $, available at Genevieve SweeneyLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Sustainable Loungewear To See You Through Winter7 Brands Making Cool & Sustainable TightsGanni Just Launched A Cosy Line Of Loungewear
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