1. Handmade Bohemian Chests of Drawers
The Lohko Floral Inlay Pink Chest of Drawers by Oliver Bonas. “Hand-carved by our master craftsmen in Rajasthan, the bone we use in these furniture pieces is buffalo bone and is a by-product of the meat industry. The bone we use in all our pieces will never be obtained from exotic, wild-caught or endangered animals.” I have also found an equally pretty pink handmade vegan alternative that uses glass inlay instead of bone here: Bohemian Artefacts – choose the glass inlay option.
2. Festival Fairy Face Gems
These Moonchild Face Jewels from The Gypsy Shrine are perfect for summer parties and festivals when you want to release your inner goddess or festive fairy and they’re super affordable! They are reusable so you can reapply them as many times as you like! Note: The Gypsy Shrine recommends applying eyelash glue/special FX glue to the edges of the jewel when reusing.
3. Seal Pups Taking Their First Steps In The World
This National Geographic short documentary on Harp Seal pups really does justice to some of the cutest creatures on Earth! Seals are my favourite marine animal – they are so graceful in the water and then on land you just want to give them a hug! If you don’t have time to watch the whole video some of the most interesting takeaway points are:
- Mothers leave their pups after just 10 days and never return. The pup is then left to fend for itself on the ice – feeding itself (!) and learning to swim. It’s a race against time before the ice they were born on melts beneath them!
- Pups must put on at least 4 pounds per day if they are to survive – that’s an entire bag of sugar!
- Mothers ‘kiss’ their pups on the nose when returning to feed them so that they make sure they’re not feeding the wrong pup in a colony of thousands of seals – this is how they recognise them!
- Sad fact: in 2017, the ice broke up so quickly due to our warming climate that the entire year’s pups drowned overnight 🙁
- Mothers use their bellies in the water like a big waterboard that they can balance on whilst teaching their pups how to swim!
4. Then & Now: Jean Shrimpton
Nicknamed ‘The Shrimp’ for her long legs and slim figure, Jean Shrimpton grew up on a farm and attended a secretarial college before she considered a career in modelling. At the age of just 17, a chance meeting with a director encouraged her to attend an academy for modelling. One day, on a photoshoot for Kellogg’s corn flakes, she met the famous 1960s photographer David Bailey. She became his muse, posing for hundreds of photographs with him over the years, and was catapulted into stardom, subsequently becoming the world’s first supermodel and gracing the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and Glamour amongst others. In 2012, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in fashion of all time.
Today, she runs the beautiful Abbey Hotel in Penzance, Cornwall, UK (with her husband Michael and son Thaddeus) with views of the famous Mount’s Bay. The dining room, where breakfast is served every morning, is over 600 years old. In an interview in 2011 with The Guardian, Jean Shrimpton notes that some of the most recent publicity about her – a 1990 ghostwritten autobiography – was undertaken purely to pay for the renovations to The Abbey’s roof and admits: “I never liked being photographed. I just happened to be good at it.”
5. The Perfect Rose Petal Tea Dress
A mindfully made Rose Petal Blossom Mini Dress by conscious fashion brand For Love & Lemons: “We produce all of our Ready-to-Wear, Knitwear, Swim and a portion of our Lingerie garments in our factory in Zhejiang, China. However, unlike other factories in China, it’s held to rigorous standards to ensure that it’s clean, operates efficiently and provides its employees with fair wages and a great work environment. We have never and will never use sweatshops!” The health and wellbeing of all factory employees are important to For Love & Lemons and you can read all about office & employee life, and see inside the factory, here.
6. My Monday Mantra
My Monday Mantra today is about focusing on yourself. Have you ever had the feeling that life is happening to you rather than for you? That things are spinning out of control, beyond your reach, and there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it? I have that sensation a lot. It’s especially prominent in our psyches right now because of COVID-19 and the global pandemic we find ourselves in. But there is something we can do about it. I’ve recently realised that if you have a strong internal compass – a firm inner rudder that you steer alone – and you feel happy and secure in yourself, it’s easier to deal with the things life throws at you. I’ve been experimenting with what exactly makes me feel like I have that strong internal compass and here’s what I’ve found:
- Quitting sugar (except for one day a week when I allow myself a ‘treat day’) – this was HARD you guys! I’ve eaten chocolate for breakfast ever since I can remember – it was the only thing that got me out of bed! Tips: eat fruit (but don’t go crazy!) in the morning and have lemon juice squeezed into hot herbal tea when you’re craving something sweet!
- Drinking less and only vodka & soda water with lemon when I do (I recently heard this drink dubbed ‘The Skinny Bitch’ because it has so few calories. I’ve adopted this)
- Eating 100% MORE vegetables. Oh if you had seen my diet before quarantine… it was a lot of falafel and halloumi wraps with chilli and garlic sauce (YUM but HIGH in fat content!), cheese, crisps, wine… all that good stuff. My favourite vegetables now are: carrots, potatoes, broccoli and cabbage – going to try to eat healthily this week after the binge of Easter!
- Quitting smoking… Yes… that’s right… I smoke. In fairness, only occasionally but I am going to try to cut this right out before lockdown is over so that I feel more in control of my health – I didn’t smoke once for 5 out of 7 days last week and I felt A LOT better about myself
- Writing encouraging things to myself in my diary and celebrating my wins!
I’m sure what feeds your soul/internal compass will look different to mine, but these are some of my ideas!
7. The Garden Du Jour
Petersham Nurseries Garden Centre in Richmond, London, UK: “A place of beauty, an emporium of goods, a celebration of the seasons”. Located inside a stunning, light and airy glasshouse restaurant (glasshouse = massive greenhouse!), the Petersham Nurseries Cafe offers seasonal food and a dining experience inspired by the garden centre’s Kitchen Garden – so all meals are fresh and sustainable. Plus, you get to dine amongst refreshing greenery and sip your wine (yes – they have a wine list!) beneath the beautiful scented curling tendrils of flowers and plants, such as the bougainvillea and jasmine that surround you. This secret garden restaurant is top of my list once lockdown is over! Check out the menu here.
8. Mouth-Watering Sugary Pink Treats!
This colour-popping recipe for Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars from Sally’s Baking Addiction has been saved on my Pinterest for YEARS and I have to tell you – after all that talk about quitting sugar – the one thing that has truly made my week recently was a similarly bright and sugary birthday cake that my mother bought me from Lola’s Cupcakes. I’m going to be trying this recipe out soon… maybe on treat day?
9. A Handmade in London Rose Gold Necklace
This Rose Halo Necklace in Rose Gold by Lee Renne Jewellery is hand-crafted from recycled silver in Lee Renee’s studio in Hatton Garden (the jewellery district of London): “It features 6 tiny intricate roses, leaves and foliage, nestled on a simple halo circle pendant that appears to be floating on the delicate chain”. Simply stunning. I love anything that is made from recycled metal as there is so much out there in the world that needs using. I also like keeping it local by supporting London-based small businesses. This pendant has a matching ring that goes with it. You can browse more beautiful designs here.
10. Tour The World’s Most Iconic Landmarks From The Comfort Of Your Own Home
The Guardian have clubbed together probably one of my favourite quarantine activities to be suggested by the media in recent weeks which is touring the world’s most famous landmarks from the comfort of your easy chair. Journey along with them and explore wonders such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Taj Mahal in India and of course the Eiffel Tour. Perfect for a lazy lockdown afternoon!
That’s all for now.
In Love&Light, MM XXXX