Things I’ve found solace in lately | pt. 5

While there’s moments when life feels ‘back to normal‘, I find myself feeling in flux still. I’ve enjoyed seeing and catching up with friends again (safely) and I’m so looking forward to the festive season beginning but I’m also enjoying having those safe moments in the comfort of my own home and just chilling out. Maybe it’s the November version of me – I always seem to hibernate a little during November as a way of trying to build up some energy and enjoy the peace before the madness of Christmas begins. It’s a moment of rest and serenity for me although, it is usually littered with a few Christmas shopping trips or some ‘brainstorming‘ for gifts. In these moments of rest I’ve really been enjoying my more creative hobbies/past-times so I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you lovely lot.

Colouring books – Without sounding like a total kid, when it came to my birthday I asked for quite a few colouring books. I really enjoy popping on a podcast or something on audible and colouring for an hour or two. It’s so peaceful and relaxes me so much that I really lent into that when it came to my boyfriend wanting present ideas. He got me a Twilight one (team Edward foreverrr!) and a Schitts Creek one. I love both of them and they’re great additions to the ones I have on my shelf too -like Gilmore Girls, Game of Thrones, and Tim Burton. As it happens, my mother also got me a Beetlejuice one which was such a surprise -I’m a bit of a darker one when it comes to my favourite films so I’m shocked she would even know what to look for.

knit kits – I found a real love of knitting during the pandemic. I learnt years ago but never found the time to pursue the craft properly and then an international pandemic came along and helped me out. I spent most of 2020 knitting, even knitting at least one thing for everyone in my life for Christmas, and now it’s got to the point where I feel a little lost if I’m not working through a project at any given time. In all honesty, I’m usually knitting items for other people so this year there’s been a few things on my list to knit for myself. Lauren Aston does some incredible knit kits, some of which I have done already but I listed some on my Wishlist and was lucky enough to receive the Santa hat one from my boyfriends parents. I have actually done this one before but I did it for my mom and knew I wanted one for myself but never got around to doing it. So after receiving this gem, I stuck on a Christmas film (during Halloween, might I add) and got to knitting it, with hot chocolate to hand too.

Last Christmas I actually made a point of knitting something for almost everyone in my life, which was insanely hectic. Although, I’m not making that commitment this year, I will no doubt be enjoying knitting a few bits leading up to and over the Christmas period… I would actually love to share a few things I’ve knitted with you all so stay tuned for that!

Books! I’ve been spending a lot of time reading lately. Whether it be through audible or curling up with an actual book, I’ve really enjoyed it lately. I think the cooler weather really stirs up the need and desire to just immerse myself into fictional places. I’ve also really been diving into my reading list lately as I completed my Goodreads reading challenge during October and while it was lovely it felt a little disheartening. I should’ve done it far higher. I made my challenge for 36 books for 2021, thinking that 3 books at month will be a challenge -I should say that I think I made it a lower number because I was reading chunkier books at the time like those by George. R. R. Martin. I have since edited it to 45 but I’m already 4 books ahead of schedule and it’s early November as I write this so I think next year I’ll have to take the plunge and just go for the full 50! Anyway, because of all these contributing factors I have been absolutely loving my books lately. The books I’ve been reading will appear on my end of year roundup and no doubt, you’ll see a few reviews here soon.

What have you been enjoying lately? Let me know

Cheerio for now!

things I’ve found solace in | pt. 4

I know I haven’t been around these parts lately but I’m hoping that will improve soon. Life has been so crazy lately and there are so many great things that have kept me going but for now I just wanted to share these few bits below.

This piece by Daniel José Older. I came across it through a Skillshare course and have been returning to it on a regular basis since. The idea of showing up and having to write is one I’ve struggled with at times, and definitely felt as though I’m forcing something. This piece goes on to state how if we do this, we’re ultimately doing a disservice to ourselves. We’re not living, observing and experiencing all those wonderful things that ultimately inspire our writing. I personally loved this piece and will forever return to it.

This video was somehow recommended to me and I absolutely love it. The shots are incredibly beautiful and Laura’s voice is so calming, you can’t help but feel at peace watching it. Wild swimming is something I really want to get into so it’s definitely given me a boost to look at some local spots I can try this out at.

This tour with Rajiv Surendra’s apartment felt like a tour of his soul – so damn beautiful. What struck me throughout the video was that, while everything he owns is incredibly beautiful and well-made, it is also functional and serves its purpose. A lot of the items in his home are handmade by either himself or someone else, either a friend or individuals he has outsourced in his desire to get his hands on something. He referred to himself as a butcher-baker-candlestick maker at one point which really tickled me but is so on the mark when you observe his living space. I’m a huge believer that our living arrangements say so much about a person. Rajiv’s definitely illustrates the thoughtful, organised and beautiful soul that he is. I absolutely love how everything is his home is thought out. He recalls multiple stories where he has outsourced a company or individual to hand-make an item he’s trying to find -which I adore the concept of working closely with artisans to get exactly what you desire. I cannot recommend this video enough. I will also be living by the saying we’re too poor to buy cheap things from here on out.

I hope you get a chance to check out some of the above, they really are great. I have a few things lined up for this space so hopefully all goes well and we’ll chat soon. I hope you’re well.

Cheerio for now!

Things That Help Inspire Me Through a Creative Slump

Now January can be great for many reasons, most of all it represents the beginning of bigger and better things. For me January can be a little bit of a downer. I wouldn’t say I get the ‘January Blues‘ as such but I definitely feel a little off beat. The only way I can explain it is that while the new year represents a fresh start and great things to come, it also reminds me that it’s still the dead of winter, we’re eons away from summer and everyone is usually strapped for cash after Christmas so there’s little going on. When this happens I feel as though I’m in a stalemate moment and time has stood still. My creativity and excitement for pretty much anything drifts away, and after that everything comes to a crashing halt. 

Regardless of when these moments happen, whether it be in January or the middle of summer, there are always a few things I like to do to kick me out of the funk. 

Ira Glass on the Creative process

I came across this video about two years ago and found it so enlightening and really lifts my spirits each time I listen to it. Over time it’s become a ritual of mine when I’m feeling down on myself to lay on my bed with a face mask on and listen to it on repeat. I also hone in on something different each time I listen to it.  

The Crossroads of Should and Must

If you’re a long time follower, you may have read my book review on the book The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna and if you read that post than you know how much I loved that book. It was an amazing read and truly inspiring. If you want to know a little more about it than head on over to my review or keep reading for a quick rundown. 
 
The foundation of the book is the concept of what you should do with your life versus what you must do. It’s this idea that mundane tasks like having a mortgage and settling down, or taking over the family firm could be things that you feel you should be doing however, on the other side of the spectrum there are those things you simply must do. They are so ingrained in your being and soul that you think about them day after day and the bottom line is you must do it, fulfil them. Elle Luna’s book opens your eyes to who you are. It involves some eye-opening exercises, stories of others journeys to their ‘musts’ and quotes to inspire and keep you motivated. An example drawn on in the book is the story of Mary Ellen Geist’s father, who continued to play his music even while suffering Alzheimers for thirteen years. She said in a letter that even though he had no idea what he did for a living, or where he lived, and he didn’t even know how to tie a tie or make his way to the stage on the day that he performed- his music however, and the performance was perfect. Now that is inspiring. And a perfect example of someones must. Something that is so ingrained on their being that even a plaque tearing apart their mind can’t stand in the way of it. This concept always sets my spirits soaring. 
 
The Great Gatsby 
Now this is probably a bit of an odd one but hear me out. It’s not so much the film its more Nick Caraway’s narration of it. The way its so melancholy but also thoughtful and raw. The phrase ‘within and without’ truly makes me think. It makes me take a step back and assess the situation clearer: which, when you are in a creative slump, definitely helps look at the big picture and take something for what it truly is. 
The Pixar Documentary
Again, this is something I wrote a post about which you can read here but I’ll still give you a rerun. The Pixar Documentary is a behind the scenes look at how Pixar happened. It is narrated alongside interviews of everyone involved including illustrators, technicians, family members, assistants, and the three main guys that kicked it all off: the creative scientist Ed Catmull, the visionary entrepreneur Steve Jobs and talented artist John Lasseter. My favourite quote from the documentary is from Steve Jobs who says ‘Pixar’s seen by a lot of folks as an overnight success, but if you look really closely most overnight success’s took a long time’. Those words always strike me more and more powerful each time I hear them. And I mean, of course for that reason this documentary always helps me. It also helps because you get to go behind the scenes of some amazing films like Toy Story, Cars, and my personal favourite A Bug’s Life. 
 
Now obviously these are very specific things for me personally but almost all of these things I actually heard about from other people so I think it’s always good to share and maybe someone will stumble across something they feel drawn to here. And of course, there are more general things that help me get out of a funk like getting outside and exploring somewhere new. One thing in particular which is always quite interesting is hanging around with younger or older people: generally anyone who is quite an age gap away from you. That gap can really make a difference in perspective which can be eye-opening to new things and ideas. 
 
So those are just a few things which inspire me through a slump, what helps you? 
Cheerio for now!

Inspire Me Lately

*side note: I wrote this post two months ago and totally forgot to post it: but I suppose it’s better late than never! 

There’s been a lot of things inspiring me lately, here are a few of them…

  • This video from Jenn at Clothes Encounters. In this video, she recreated looks inspired by famous works of art. I absolutely love this video and the way it mixes art with fashion and almost and quirky, fancy dress element. I also love that she discusses each painting and a little bit about its’ background -as someone who has studied art history, I really appreciated that. 
  • I have listened to The Ladygang podcast on and off for just under a year now. I find that I’ll go ages without checking out my podcasts and then suddenly binge-listening to them all in a couple of days. When this happens I find that I love one or two episodes way more than the others. This time it was the Whitney Port episode and the Ru Paul one. Now as someone who has the box set for the Hills and the City -I loved the episode with Whitney Port, but the episode with Ru Paul was just on a whole other level of inspiring. His words and life views were beyond enlightening for me, and I think I listened to this episode at a point when I truly needed it. One motto that he mentioned which I absolutely fell in love with was ‘Unless they paying your bills, pay them bees no mind‘ -which I mean, is just perfect for me to keep in mind. I’m someone who gets too paranoid about what people think or how they’ll perceive what I do when in reality it doesn’t really matter all that much at all. 
  • I love this video from Violette at violette_fr. I love the way she chooses a different location for each of her videos and her looks appear so polished and well curated. The shots and camera work seems so natural and effortless while being true to the theme of the video. I also really enjoyed this video she produced a while back. 
  • I have also been loving the Youtube videos by Broadly lately. In particular there ones about Coco and Life as a fairytale princess. I absolutely loved the video about Coco. Although it feels quite bizarre for a six-year-old to be able to work Instagram, it is also lovely to see a child be so uniquely themselves without feeling judged or as though they need to follow the crowd. I feel as though Broadly’s videos do not sugar coat topics; they take you behind the scenes and show you the nitty-gritty details of things. For instance, their videos on Bulgaria’s Bride market and the most powerful witches in Romania were so informative but also truthful and respectful of the culture of the subject. I really enjoy their videos and would recommend to anyone who wants to watch something a little more informative or in more of documentary style. 
  • And last, but by no means least, is Paloma’s get ready video featured on Glossier’s youtube channel. I’ve been following Paloma on Instagram for some time now and as a fellow curvy woman, I find her so inspiring. I’d say coming across her instagram and other curvy models and activists, and seeing how at home they are with their own bodies have definitely made me feel a lot more at home in my own body. 
Cheerio for now!

Inspire Me Lately

As a writer there are always many things inspiring me or that I feel drawn to. And rather than litter my Seasonal roundups with all these things I thought it better to neatly collect them here.

  • Carrie, from WishWishWish, posted this video on her Instagram from her most recent visit to the Red Rock Canyon. With it being a place that has always been on my bucket list, anytime anyone posts anything of those picturesque scenes from the Red Rocks it sends my heart into a routine of lusting over those dusty canyons. 
  • This Video from The Messy Heads YouTube channel. It is in connection with the third issue of the magazine, which is centred around the idea and concept of Home. I have been really inspired by the Home Issue and loved having a browse through that while trying to settle into my own home. I love everything The Messy Heads produce. From their print articles to their photography, their videos to the content on their blog. Everything they curate is so beautifully raw and authentic. I also love their contributors, particularly Isabella Mente and Haley Appell
  • Talking of Isabella Mente, I loved her video explaining her process and experience of self-publishing her book, 7, 300 days. As someone who has always wanted to produce a book, I constantly go back and forth between the idea of going through a literary agent/publishing house or simply giving it everything I have and self-publishing my own work. In this video, Isabella mentions some really important points as well as some more personal factors; and I think, that really inspired me and reignited a fire within me to write daily again. 
  • My film camera. Since finding my Film Camera from Camden Market, I have been experiencing photography in a whole new light. There are many new elements of the film which I’m adapting to, but learning something new is always so inspiring. (I will no doubt make a post surrounding my experience with film). 
  • And last but not least, is this video by Pearypie. I’ve been following her on Instagram for quite some years and have always loved her photos, but it wasn’t until around a year ago that I realised she had a youtube channel. The videos are mostly based on makeup and tutorials, with the occasional travel video thrown in too. When I say makeup videos I don’t mean the usual tutorials you usually see but rather full on sets and outfits that have been carefully curated around a specific makeup look or theme. Although most of the brands/products she uses are not cruelty-free, and for that reason, I do not use them, the actual looks she produces and end results are so creative and inspiring: especially for a basic b!tch like myself. 
I feel as though this post has been very ‘Messy Heads’ inspired, but really that is a true reflection of what has been inspiring me lately. I’ve noticed that in summer, my usual monochromatic wardrobe and more grungy vibes turn towards a more colourful and feminine style. I have found myself increasingly drawn to pale pinks and red tones, along with burnt oranges and lime greens. Yellow flowers are also incredibly desirable right now.

What has been inspiring you lately? Comment below or feel free to message through my contact page. 
Cheerio for now! 
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