Since moving to England, I've usually found February to be a little bit of an 'eh' month. You know, the kind that passes by with no real excitement; Christmas is a distant memory, so the cold is no longer fun, and my reputation as a writer and communications expert is threatened every time I stumble through the nonsensical spelling of the awful month itself.
2018 is different, though. From this year onward, February will always be the anniversary of quitting my job in search of a new, empowering adventure (watch this space), so it's probably unsurprising that the things I've gravitated to recently have been real home comforts. Little luxuries that have helped me to relax, or left me feeling inspired...
1. Sand + Fog Candles
I've always felt that the number one way to de-stress is with a big old block of beautifully scented wax, and my new favourites come from Californian creators, Sand + Fog.
As a team of interior designers, you can tell they've put quality, simplicity and style at the forefront of their creations, not to mention each and every scent is a dream. Incredibly, I get mine from Homesense, where their affordability means I don't have to feel bad about walking out (and burning through) armfuls of the beauties.
2. Pericone MD Brightening Eye Cream
My lovely friend, Emily, is a cheerleader for everything that Perricone MD does. I, on the other hand, was yet to try anything from the age-defying skincare range, until she very kindly gifted me a bottle of their PRE:EMPT Brightening Eye Cream.
My mum always told me that my crocodile-tear tantrums and subsequent eye rubbing would catch up with me one day, so, as an adult, I've always been conscious of reversing whatever damage I could by investing in good skincare for the delicate eye area. It's only been a few weeks, but I'm totally in love! My under eyes feel soft and hydrated, not to mention bright—a huge feat for someone who has pronounced cheeks with the shadow-casting ability of mine.
Mayfair's NAC has the tagline 'great food and great company', which meant it was the perfect place for my friends Kelly, Fabienne and I to celebrate and commiserate over a bottle of wine and some delicious, surprisingly affordable, treats.
As huge fans of a 'picky' dinner, their sharing plates could not have been more welcomed. The miso aubergine is a must (isn't it always?), as is the popcorn shrimp and halloumi fries. The girls tell me the mac and cheese was also worth shouting about, but, as someone who detests any form of pasta, I'll just have to take their word for it. Fortunately, we had the good sense to save room for dessert, and what an excellent decision that was... if you have just one thing at NAC, make it the crushed cookies and Frosties soft serve—you will not regret it!
4. How to be an overnight success
At a time in my life where I'm soaking up all of the inspirational business advice I can get, Maria Hatzistefanis' book is a welcomed addition to my library. It's part biography, part entrepreneurial handbook, and wholly captivating. It's not perfectly written, granted, but the beauty of it lies in its authenticity and rawness. Her tale is one of a young woman who was prosperous, but not fulfilled, so set out to create a career for herself in an industry she loved, despite not having the traditional background thought to be needed to achieve success. I genuinely think that's something we'd all benefit learning from.
5. Sipsmith Events
I'm aware that in the opening of this post I mentioned that I'd be discussing 'home comforts'. Well, I'm not afraid to say that, for me, gin sits snuggly right next to books, candles, and Lush bath oils in this area. That being said, February's rendezvous with the good stuff actually required leaving the house—but for a very good reason. For as long as I've been a fan of Sipsmith, I've been a fan of their events. We went to the Gingerline Juniper Manor last year and The Punch House before that. But, we first fell in love with their experiences three years ago, atop the Ham Yard Hotel, where they debuted their hot gin concoctions. A few weeks ago, we returned for the second edition of this amazing tasting event and, just like at every other, we were blown away by the cocktails and food, not to mention the team's knowledge and kindness. Sadly (and obviously) the event is no longer running, but I'm including it in my monthly favourites not to tease, but to encourage you all to sign up to their mailing list so you too can join us on the next gin-fuelled adventure.
What are the things that caught your eye, or captured your heart recently? Let me know if the comments below!