January 24, 2020
A new year is upon us, and while I don’t have a huge list of resolutions, I thought it would be fun this year to do monthly updates where I talk about things I’ve been up to / thinking about / enjoying and share some images from the month, too. From books and travels to beauty and homewares.
I’m calling it ‘Dossier’ which is the French word for a file of documents. I’ll post it here on the blog the last week of every month.
For me January can be a hard month as I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder aka S.A.D. – the most perfect acronym to describe what it makes you feel like! Due to the lack of light and sunshine my mind and mood feel effected by this and can lead me to feel quite low. It’s quite natural, really, and I always think of it as hibernation season – and try not to force myself to do too many extra curricular activities if I don’t want to. I allow myself to take things slow and it’s always a good time to check in with myself on how I’m feeling – but acknowledging that there might not be a specific ‘reason’ as to why I’m feeling down. I just am. I like writing my thoughts in my diary and make sure I meditate everyday if I can (I love Headspace, which I’ve used for years). It’s very easy to get caught up in thought so making sure I go outside – to get as much natural light as I can! – and feeling more present in my body really helps. I like doing Pilates and stretching or foam rolling. I always feel great after. I also make sure I add Vitamin D to my supplements in the morning.
I’ve been reading The Body by Bill Bryson and am finding it so interesting to learn each night all about the human body. Each chapter is focused on a different aspect eg ‘bones’ or ‘head’ or even ‘the nervous system’ and explains everything there is to know about that area (and often some great stories about the people who first discovered these). Of course I loved the bit about the skin! It’s very easily digestible – never preaching or too scientific – and I feel like if there ever was a pub quiz on random facts on the body I would now have a plethora of random knowledge. Eg did you know there is no reason why we itch? Ans just reading the word itch might make you… itch. Sorry.
This time of year tends to be focused on being indoors a lot so I love making it feel as cosy as possible. Candles and flowers are little things that make a huge difference. Triggering both olfactory and visuals are my favourite ways to make a room make me feel happy. I think that’s why I love the colour pink – a deep, dusty rose is my favourite – it makes me happy and puts a smile on my face. I have lots of little accents of it around my flat although funnily enough rarely wear it as a colour of clothing. Snuggling up in a duvet and reading with a cup of mint tea or hot chocolate are also such special moments in my day.
Even though I’ve had ups and downs this month I’ve created some work I’m really proud of – which for me is always a high. I love my job so much and creating beautiful work is what makes the fire inside me burn. For me, my job is finding new ways to tell a visual story. This year I’m planning to do more video – maybe even vlogs! I’ve loved creating the more curated ones I share on instagram but want to do more diary style everyday ones too. Like a video version of everything I’m writing now I suppose. I’m a big perfectionist – especially with my work – so it makes me feel a little nervous to embark on something I may not have completely perfected yet but I think I’ll learn a lot as I go and get more polished (I hope!). It makes me nervous but also excited to develop a skill in a new medium.
It’s easy to forget career highs so I’m going to remind myself that this month I signed to the Storm Models Vision board and was also asked to be a part of a Chanel shoot to celebrate the new Spring Summer collection. I also worked with Estée Lauder on their ANR campaign, which is always a favourite of mine to do – and I appreciate so much how they trust my creative vision. Please don’t take those as humble brags, but rather this Dossier is a kind of journal for me so when I look back I want to remember those things, too. I know life online can seem idyllic and it definitely has it’s perks but everyone that shares on social or their blog also has a real life with ups and downs.
This month started with the fires in Australia, which honestly felt like the beginning of the end of the world. Seeing a natural element creating such ferocious destruction made me feel really helpless and useless. I’m sure you would have seen I was sharing a lot on social to help raise awareness and donations. But with it being so huge and indestructible (it’s still going on, by the way) it made me think about the future of the planet even more than I normally do. I am someone who has always been very aware of global warming. When I was younger I had my first panic attach after watching a TV programme about plastic and recycling (bearing in mind this was around 1999), and the planet and global warming is often on my mind. I try to do my bit daily with reusable plastic bottles and coffee cups and bags, but in comparison to the fires all that can feel so trivial (which it’s not – everyone can do something that adds up). Working in an industry which is essentially based around consumerism can then feel a bit dirty, to be honest. But then I remind myself we have to just find new ways to ‘consume’. As much as we could all say ‘I’m never buying anything new again’ I think it’s unrealistic to speak like that. Brands that are aware of the problem and talking about it and doing their best to find new ways to create product and packaging are really impressing me right now. I have a piece on Conscious Beauty in the pipeline with these brands and further ideas. I travel a lot for work, too, and so every time I book a flight I’m going to plant a tree. (I recently found out about Mindful Flights where you can carbon offset each flight you take! So easy to do too).
I spoke about my diary on instagram but wanted to share here too as it really helps me order me days and weeks – to have an idea of what I’m up to. I have a digital diary too (I use the app Teux Deux) but love writing things down on paper also. The paper diary is this Mi Goals one and the ‘habits’ section for the week is really helpful for checking I’m doing the things I know I feel better when I do daily. eg Pilates, meditation, drawing. Whenever I have ideas I jot them down in there too. It also allows me to see the year ahead and again, give me an idea of when I’m doing what. Being freelance it can be hard to figure out what you’re going to be up to and where you’re going to be a lot of the time and so I like to visually map this out. I’m heading to Australia in February for a friends wedding and some winter sun which I am of course very excited about. I lived in Sydney for 2 years so whenever I go back it feels like home. Waking up everyday and swimming in the ocean is my idea of heaven. But I’ll update you more on that in next month’s Dossier!
January is a month of inner reflection but also of future manifestations. I’m turning 30 this year and can’t wait! I’m planning a trip with some friends to celebrate. It feels momentous for me turning 30 for some reason (it’s not until the summer I just like to plan ahead), so I’m excited to get the year going. I hope you like the Dossier – please do let me know any feedback you may have. Each month I’ll also let you know my favourites in beauty, style and home, which I’ve listed for you below.
Beauty: I needed a new everyday lip shade, and this month it came in the form of a deep berry balm that adds colour without over powering, this balm has been in my handbag all month – here
Style: I’m a jeans girl through and through so I’m very picky with fit and this new style is heaven – here
Home: Nothing perks me up (pun intended) like vases shaped like the female form – here