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!

Books I’ve Loved Lately

The pandemic really reignited my love for reading and I’ve been trying to keep it up while the world has been opening back up. I have been keeping a log of everything that I’ve read this year, and will probably do a round up or ‘best of’ post at the end of the year, but for now I thought I’d just let you know about a couple that I have really loved.

No Shame, Tom Allen

This book was hilarious. Just all out amazing-greatness-hilariousness. Now Tom Allen is pretty new to me. Having seen him on a programme last Christmas and cried with laughter multiple times, I loved him so much and had to see more of him. I then heard him on a few of the podcasts me and my Bearded-Boyfriend listen to, and just became so smitten with all things Tom Allen.

Now if you don’t know who Tom Allen is, I urge you to google or search him on YouTube. He is not your average male. He is dapper. In his uniform of three piece suits he is always put together like something you’d see on men in photos from the roaring twenties not in suburban London. This book is a very frank memoir with the chapters serving as vignettes of parts of his life, especially those from his early life and when he was coming to age.

When I was 16 I dressed in Victorian clothing in a bid to distract people from the fact that I was gay. It was a flawed plan.

Tom Allen

The book is sectioned into chapters which are labelled Driving, Working, etc; all of which come in heavy with the anecdotes. They are witty and sharp, honest and hysterical but also heartbreaking at times. He bears all in this book, even writing it in a fast and personable way rather than mimicking the narration style of some academic scholar with long-winded accounts. It’s a very accessible book to read or listen to -I actually downloaded it on audible too after I heard a sample of him narrating it himself. While I do highly recommend getting your hands on a couple, the audiobook just brings so much more colour to it. The timing of which he narrates it and accents he puts on just adds so much to the experience.

Intimations: Six Essays, Zadie Smith

This little book is a collection of essays from a pretty hefty time in history. I wouldn’t call them essays, more so reflections or vignettes of a moment in time. They all relate to the beginning and surge of Covid and how we, humanity as a whole, got through some of that. Smith explores some of the mundanity of life and the stillness most of us were engulfed in. While the humdrum subject matters in here seem wearisome, Smith details them in such an intimately powerful way. She muses about the unprecedented events in a way that now on (somewhat) the other side of them, gives the reader a lot to think about and reflect on.

What I’ve tried to do is organise some of the feelings and thoughts that events, so far, have provoked in me, in those scraps of time the year itself has allowed

Zadie Smith, 31 May 2020

I enjoyed this book so much. I must say this was my first book I had read by Zadie Smith on the recommendation of a friend. It was a welcome reprieve from a lot of anxiety and uncertainty as the covid statistics started to rise over winter. It is also the perfect little size to fit in my bag and for that reason it came everywhere with me; I often found myself dipping in and out of it for a moment of calm. I would recommend this for any reader, not just for the moments of reflection but also just for posterity. I now have a small collection of books that have come out post-covid that I will definitely refer back to when I’m talking about covid; this being one of them.

Within these four walls, mindfully Evie

This book is not necessarily one piece of work but rather a collection of eloquent pieces of poetry, prose, letters and journal entries tied together beautifully around the theme of self-discovery, healing and growth. They exude a resilience that I think really speaks to a lot of people like myself who suffer from chronic illnesses, which I would say is the central topic of this book. As the author herself puts it;

Spanning over nearly three years this book is a testament to my time being housebound and proof that despite all the suffering, there is always happiness to be created, peace to be unearthed, and a life to be live‘.

The books has three sections to it: The Storm, The Aftermath and The Calm. It also has an extra chapter called A Conversation with Wisdom. Each section holds such a selection of writing, from the wisdom in some pieces to the thoughtful and reflective pieces in another; all oozing powerful emotions in such an articulate way.

Now, I did really love this book but I will say that this is definitely one you pick up every so often and I wouldn’t recommend reading it all at once like other poetry collections I’ve read in the past. As I type this, I do wonder whether this is purely because of my own emotional and physical journey with my chronic health or if the pieces would stick with someone else in the same way. What I mean by this is, sometimes Evie’s words were too close to home for me and transported me back to darker times which were much harder for me to handle and live through. Literature has always been an enjoyable escape for me but sometimes the pieces would strike a cord and, while they did illustrate how I felt at times so eloquently, they also at times were too potent or vivid. Having said this, I do think this is a wonderful collection of work and I cannot recommend it enough to those looking to understand the lives and journey of those who suffer from chronic illnesses. It really serves well as a looking-glass into the realm of a Spoonie’s journey. Mindfully Evie also has another book newly released called Everything is Always Changing. I haven’t got my hands on this book as of yet but it’s sitting pretty on my list of books to buy so stay tuned!

Thats about it for now but keep an eye out for my bookish content coming soon – I’ve been rather busy on the book front lately so there’s lots to come.

Cheerio for now!

things I’ve found solace in | isolation edition pt.3

I know, I know -I dropped off this little area for a while. This post was one of the ones that just got abandoned half way through its formation but nevertheless, I really want to share it still in hopes that it might help some of you lovely lot. I’m writing this introduction as England is in its first week of Lockdown 3.0 so I think we could all use a little uplighting about now and this might help. (*most of the things below were logged mid-late 2020).

Rachel Maksy on YouTube has always been a source of inspiration but a few of her videos in particular, have really inspired me. Her outfit videos are just amazing, this one in particular I really loved and how could I not fall head over heels with her video of making her own coraline-esque doll (I have rewatched that movie a shameful amount of times). But it has been her sunroom makeover video that has had me swooning ever since. It’s vintage feel and Swiss Family Robinson aesthetic is just beautiful and so well curated. I got all sorts of A Series of Unfortunate Events/Reptile Room vibes and could almost see Violet tying her hair in a ribbon to work on an invention in there. Anyway, I couldn’t recommend Rachel’s channel enough, especially if you love the vintage aesthetic, are really into cosplay or dressing up or just love watching a good DIY video. She is so creative and just a beautiful soul!

Jenny at wearilive on YouTube is one of my all-time faves and this year she has been a saving grace for me. I find her content so raw and refreshing, especially in times of tension or uncertainty. Her morning routine videos and moving vlogs are my absolute faves.

While we are on the subject of YouTube, I have been loving Whitney Ports reaction videos to The City and The Hills. I used to love those shows back in the day so watching her react to them with her husband now is just so entertaining; especially given how much time has passed. I think it’s also eye-opening to how much I have grown up since when I was infatuated with those shows.

lexie lombard is lyfe – podcast and videos. Now I’ve followed Lexie Lombard for some time but I’d say I only truly got into her channel in a big way during isolation when she began her isolation vlogs. She’s entirely unfiltered and seemingly so down to earth in all her videos, I can’t help but feel drawn to her. Even more so now that she has launched her podcast. I’d definitely recommend giving it a listen, and check out her YT channel too!

Orion Carloto’s film for her. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been low-key obsessed with Orion Carloto for many years so when she announced that she was releasing her second book I was ecstatic and ordered it as fast as I could. I have found a lot of solace in poetry and prose this year, especially throughout the lockdowns and this book has without a doubt been my favourite this year.

knittingggg – I learnt to knit years ago but seriously got back into it this year throughout the lockdowns. I can honestly say that it’s the thing that has kept me sane this year. I have made various bits throughout the year, including poppies for remembrance Sunday but I also made the goal for myself to make as many Christmas presents as possibly this year -which, as you can imagine, has really kept me busy.

Last but not least, The Holidate on Netflix. I can’t remember what made me watch this film but I am so happy I did. I don’t usually take the plunge with new films, I tend to stick to what I know and like and that’s that; but I really enjoyed this one. I even made my boyfriend watch it and he loved it too. I’d say its a mix of The Wedding Date and That Awkward Moment. There are so many hilarious scenes and the Rom-com element is just on point throughout.

*Right, now that that’s all out the way I can start from scratch this year and keep up to date. Let me know if there’s anything in particular that has been helping you through these neverending lockdowns.

Cheerio for now!

things I’ve found solace in | isolation edition pt. 2

It’s hard to really write about how I’m feeling right now when to be real honest, I’m experiencing at least several emotions in each hour that passes by. I have found myself seeking solace in all manner of things but a few things have really struck a cord with me or have just eased my mind that extra bit; and I wanted to share them here.

This article from Vogue made me feel all the feels. I found it quite an emotional read as although I do still live at home, I felt a certain parallel with Bella Mackie was writing in relation to my grandparents. I have always had more of a sister/best friend type of bond with my mother and so, my grandparents are more like parental figures to me so it is quite a foreign feeling to not be allowed to see them. A lot of what Mackie wrote really resonated with me but it was also nice to have that moment of realising that their is another human being, and many more, out there who are experiencing the same emotions that I am.

On the topic of Vogue, I really enjoyed this video from their Vogue Paris Youtube channel. I have mentioned their home videos before, which I really enjoy, but I loved this video and wanted to quickly mention it here.

This article from Refinery29 has been the greatest and most relatable thing I have read during lockdown. I have found myself becoming a bit ratty at times with everyone around me and I honestly couldn’t say why, other than the fact that we may be getting in each others personal space too much; so reading this article was very much needed. I’d highly recommend that everyone give it a read. I already sent the link to my boyfriend and mom.

The fact that Scotlands Home of the Year has begun again just is amazing. Obviously I don’t live in Scotland but I love it’s scenery and I’m a huge fan of Kate La Vie (probably touched on that in other posts). I love interiors and find the whole topic of architecture just so interesting so I can’t wait to watch the rest of these episodes. If you like these types of shows too then I’d also recommend Amazing Interiors on Netflix and a newfound fave of mine The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix also. I haven’t quite got through the entirety of the latter as there is multiple seasons and I’m desperately trying not to spend too much time on screens while in lockdown -which is insanely difficult when you find such great shows that you want to binge watch.

This post by Alice Catherine. Her posts are ones that I’m always so happy to see appear in my bloglovin feed but this one in particular really sang to my soul.

And finally, this video from New York Magazines YouTube channel. I have found a lot of their videos being recommended since taking an interest in their interior videos and this recommended watch definitely didn’t disappoint. There is something so inspiring and empowering about people who find themselves on unexpected, but beautiful pathways in life. Lyn Slater could be said to be one of these people. If you love Iris Apfel or the post I shared on her, then I’d definitely give this a watch too.

Stay safe.

Cheerio for now!

Short Forms of the Written Word

I’m not gonna lie, I found the title for this post a little tricky. Basically the premise for this post is that I want to share some short doses of fiction, prose and poetry (even some magazines) that I have really been enjoying lately. Throughout this lockdown I have found myself wanting to read but as soon as I start reading, I have the niggling voice in my mind telling me that I should be doing something more productive or spending my lockdown time better. This thought has made me a little torn between wanting to be uber productive but also not having the mentality to truly fulfil such tasks. I think we’re all in the same frame of mind and the state of the world is just mentally draining right now. Because of this, I have found myself drawn to shorter forms of writing not wanting to get too stuck into a chunky book in fear that I’ll lose momentum half way through and never want to revisit it. So, I wanted to share those here today.

Poetry

Bit of a broad one I know but I have been finding poetry in general to be super calming before I go to sleep. In particular, I have been absolutely loving Lang Leav’s work. So far I have read Love Looks Pretty on You, Lullabies, & Sea of Strangers. Lullabies is entirely poetry however the other two have been both poetry and prose which has been a really nice mix. When I say prose, it has been short and digestible prose so it’s an easy-read. I have also really enjoyed Flux by Orion Carloto and Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell. I do have a variety of others too but those are the ones that definitely stand out in my mind.

Short Fiction

Faber Stories have a collection of cute little books, each a different story. I had a few for Christmas presents and bought quite a few before the lockdown so I think I stocked up at a convenient time. The little books are a convenient size for when life gets back to normal. I actually read my first one on a train to my last doctors appointment in February, and have since read more. They serve as easy, bitesize pieces of fiction to get lost in for a while. Two that stick out in my mind are Mr Salary by Sally Rooney and Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath.

Pamphlets

For the past year and a half I have really enjoyed the Candlestick Press Pamphlets. They have a huge variety of topics but each pamphlet focuses on one particular genre or subject such as Tea or Scotland, etc and then it will either have a bunch of poems about that given subject or a mixture of poems, short fiction and prose. My favourite so far has been The All Night Bookshop by David Belbin. While it is a piece of fiction, the pamphlet also has a selection of poems about books to accompany it. It was a such a magical story and I really can’t recommend it enough. The thing I also love about these pamphlets is that they come with an envelope, a sticker and a blank bookmark for you to scribble a little note on to send someone with the pamphlet inside. I have sent quite a few, the most recent being the pamphlet with poems about grandparents to my Granddad, who loves poetry. I also really love that each pamphlet donates money to a chosen charity near that subject, so for instance the one about dogs donates to Dogs Trust while the Christmas Lights one donates to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. They’re a great little thing to lift someones mood at any given time but especially now when we can’t be together, we can just pop one of these in the post to a loved one.

Miscellaneous

Now, I say miscellaneous purely because I can’t really group this section in any other way. I have recently been loving digital magazines, specifically Betty Magazine which I believe available through online pdf’s for a limited time only. I do have physical copies of a few of these but I love the idea of having digital versions which I can always revisit. The imagery and articles are just among some of my favourite content. Popshot Magazine is a great source of short fiction and poetry too if you wanna stick to strictly poetry and fiction. I have also really enjoyed reading the first issue of The Coven Magazine. This has made for an interesting read during lockdown. I always enjoy audiobooks but lately I have been pulled to podcasts more. Like books, I’ve been trying to digest shorter formats of everything; trying to take breaks to address my mood and mentality in this crazy time. I have been absolutely loving Queens Podcast -if you looked at my Spotify queue right now you would see a list of their episodes that I’m working through.

Let me know if you have any other forms of short fiction too.

Cheerio for now!

Iris Apfel, accidental icon

Iris Apfel, accidental icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet

The name Iris Apfel is not one that the everyday Joe would know. Hell, my boyfriend didn’t know who she was. But if you have an interest in fashion, wisdom, or are just up to date on the pop culture scene you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. The bold little lady wearing every colour imaginable, usually sporting at least five chunky bangles on each wrist and always sporting her signature thick, round spectacles and swoosh of red lippy.

She’s everything you want to be when you’re in your 90s.

Young in spirit, she embodies everything wonderful about the fashion industry but at the same time doesn’t conform to any fashion trends or rules. She plays with fashion and accessories wonderfully: putting together the most creative and unexpected ensembles, which is so refreshing when we are used to seeing the black and grey drab outfits or the perfectly co-ordinating ones.

I never want to be an old fuddy-duddy; I hold the self-proclaimed record for being the World’s Oldest Living Teenager and I intend to keep it that way

Iris Apfel

A true icon full of vibrant panache, Iris Apfel shares anecdote, maxims, and passages on all topics from technology, style, interior design, textiles, and all things in-between. Her pearls of wisdom fill each sentence alongside pages of vivid colours and eye-catching prints. Iris embodies everything I wish I will be when I’m older, and not even older but now. Entirely awe-inspiring, I hope to breath fresh-air into my wardrobe with prints and colours in the future; and over all try to be fearless and go with what I like rather than what ‘goes’ together.

Full of practical advice and inspiring stories, this book is a must for anyone: especially women. I think there is a lot of ‘take homes’ for women, especially from Iris’ experience in the workplace and just growing up in general. The insight I have personally gained from this book is something I wish I had come across in my teens -which I honestly think would be the perfect time to read it for anyone. With so much good sense within its’ pages, it is one of those books I wish I could give a copy of to everyone I know. I can’t recommend it enough!

Cheerio for now!

things I’ve found solace in | isolation edition

I started self-isolating mid March due to pre-existing health conditions and while I am used to spending a lot of time at home because of my health, I think there’s something very different about not being able to leave your home because of an epidemic than just simply from chronic health conditions. Because of just how much time I spend at home already, I have a variety of go-to’s which always work however, this obviously isn’t the usual circumstances. Since being in isolation I have found some new features that I’ve come to rely on through this time and wanted to outline a few of the specifics below incase they can help you.

First of all, how can I not mention Emma Hills isolation vlogs. When it comes to hauls and content such as that on YouTube I’m not interested, but certain peoples vlogs I eat up so quick! Emma Hill is one of these people. I love her vlogs as it is but there is something so raw and interesting about vlogs at the moment, when we’re all in the same boat and struggling to pass the time away. In this sort of situation people true colours come out and I think there’s something really refreshing about connecting that way. Not with sponsorships or plugging social media handles but just connecting with one another in a way that encourages and helps people through these days… the 5B’s help a hell of a lot too!

Another person who’s youtube content I have really been loving right now is Kate La Vie. Her weekly vlog vids are always welcome with open arms in my subscription box; and miraculously, she’s someone I can handle hauls with. Her home is an endless source of inspiration and she just radiates such a positivity about her, even on those days when you can tell she’s maybe having not so great a time, she still seems to have an upbeat energy to her. I also love the content on her blog too.

I always love seeing Orion Carloto’s instagram content. Her sartorial aesthetic is so satisfyingly pleasing that it makes my heart flutter a little bit (is that sad to say?). Her Youtube content is great too, although few and far between. But what has really helped lately is her book Flux. Flux is a short book of poetry in a variety of approaches including hand-written notes and diary entries too. It’s so alluringly deep that you can’t help but keep turning the page. It also is a great starting point if you’re only just getting into poetry.

I think poetry in general is something that I have found myself feeling quite drawn to right now. I have been spending my evenings curling up with a book of poetry to try and divert my mind for the current state of the world. I find it so soothing to unwind with it and a tea before I go to bed, and if truth be told I don’t think I would be able to have an evening without it now. While I love reading in general, poetry has a lightness to it. The experience depends entirely on the reader. You can either analyse each stanza, reading between the lines for hidden meanings, or you can simply enjoy the musicality of the words chosen by the writer. My evening reading usually falls into the latter, deciding to enjoy the words, imagery and emotion that it gives me; which I find so helpful when trying to unwind.

And of course, in the state of affairs the world is facing right now, I found Alice Catherine’s post incredibly grounding for my anxious thoughts. I have always found solace in her posts, naturally gravitating to her words and advice but I found this post in particular extremely helpful.

I think that’s enough to mention for today, but no doubt a ton of other things will come to my mind later on so stay tuned for another post of this kind coming your way. Stay safe.

Cheerio for now!

things that have inspired me lately

I always seem to have a post full of links to videos or articles in my drafted section, which quickly grows over time. Quite a few links in this post are from last year. There are things that I have found over time and a few newer links I have added more recently. All of them have inspired me though and so, I wanted to share them with you. Who knows you might find them inspiring also.

Now I can’t remember how I first came across this blogpost but I can say that ever since I first read it I’ve had it bookmarked on my laptop and gone back to it multiple times to reread and take in its’ insight. Cait writes in such a beautifully honest way about blogging and what it has become over the years, as well as going into some of the details of why she is retiring her personal blogging. It is so refreshing to read someone talking about how they feel about something which has become so evident within the blogging community. While I love sitting with a cuppa and going through my Bloglovin’ feed, I do find myself being more mindful of which blogs I spend my time reading.

I have found myself taking part in an ongoing purge of blogs and YouTube channels I follow, as they are simply too consuming. Even with the remaining sites that I follow I find myself cherry picking which posts I read and which I just simply click ‘mark as read’. I tend to steer clear of hauls and any type of promotion of ‘trend’ pieces, or newly released brands; purely because I find myself persuaded into buying things I do not want or need.

I also don’t feel compelled to share every aspect of my life anymore or take my camera everywhere I go incase I want to turn any trips into content for here. I wouldn’t say I’m retiring this space but like Cait, I don’t want to feel obliged to keep up a facade of posting continuously, pay attention to the number of readers, grow an online brand and presence, etc. I just simply want to live and share things along the way that I feel passionate about. Even if you don’t have a blog or even follow blogs, I still think anyone would find Cait’s post interesting.

This amazingly relatable post by Emma Hill. Growing up I was never the maternal type. Don’t get me wrong, kids are great but I don’t get that broody feeling that others do every time they walk through the baby section of stores or smell that ‘newborn‘ scent. I grew up telling my grandmother that I’m never having children and when I became chronically ill that phrase quickly changed to I can’t have children. When I said those words it weren’t just in the medical sense of my lifestyle but also the fact that, whenever I dreamt of being well or healthy one day, I weren’t settling down or having a family; I was out there, travelling, working, living the life I had missed out on. I have always felt an internal guilt for feeling this way however, when I came across this post by Emma Hill a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could give a sigh of relief that someone was somewhat on the same page as me about this topic. Her post isn’t just relatable for me in terms of her feelings about children but I also find her storytelling about a flight from hell because of children so comedic and yes, yet again soooo relatable. All these years I have had an inner monologue, slagging the little demons off and feeling like the worst woman ever and now I come to realise there’s others just like me out there!

If you’re a total mumsy/child-loving person then I wouldn’t read this post, Emma Hill even writes a short disclaimer at the top warning folk about the posts contents. However, if you’re like me and ever had this inner guilt and turmoil over these ‘unnatural’ thoughts than I would highly recommend giving the post a read. I have read it so many times and feel more better after each read.

The idea of living a zero waste lifestyle has always been appealing for me, however the one area of life that my mind constantly flies to when thinking about zero waste is the bathroom. I have been following the site A Considered Life for quite some time now and have found some really helpful information from the content. This post in particular has really helped open my eyes as to how many options there are out there, and it has definitely inspired me to keep pursuing a zero waste, or more-so ‘less waste‘ lifestyle. I would definitely recommend taking a look at A Considered Life if you are interested in a zero waste lifestyle, minimalistic/simple lifestyle tips, sustainable fashion or even cruelty free beauty. The sustainable fashion directory is regular go-to of mine.

I absolutely loved this video by Lwany. I have been following her youtube channel, How To Five Two, for quite some time and I’m constantly inspired by her visual style but actually seeing and hearing her thoughts and feelings about everyday life is so inspiring. Her thoughts about her profession and the type of career she finds herself in are so similar and relatable to my own that this video just warms my heart every time I watch it. I’d give her channel and instagram a peek if your into style or the aesthetically pleasing (aligning of course, with self-authenticity).

As a chronically ill person going to the gym and doing hardcore workouts just doesn’t work for my body, however I do like to do some form of movement so I don’t entirely stiffen up. Because I’m not well enough to do the types of workouts that everyone else is capable of it’s easy to get downhearted or just simply beat myself up. This video by Arden came to me at exactly the right point in time. She says a lot of home truths in this video that I really needed to hear. The overall premise of the video is finding what works for you as opposed to just going to the gym and doing cardio because that’s what everyone else does; or more so, what society says we should be doing.

This video really put a lot into perspective for me, and helped me wrap my head around certain things to do with my own body and health; as well as coming to the conclusion of what is healthy and attainable for me going forward. If your having hard-time with working out, or not even a hard time but just wanting to find that extra inspiration to work out -give Arden’s video a watch and you might also find some of her insight enlightening too.

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!