Introducing the very first December Reflections!
I so enjoyed doing the August Break photo challenge this year I thought it would be fun to do something similar to end the year on a creative high! Like the AB, the idea is to take a photograph every day in December as a way to pay attention to what’s around you and reflect on the year that’s closing.
I’ve put together 31 photo prompts so we have something to photograph or share each day. We have an Instagram hashtag — #decemberreflections — a Flickr group if you prefer to share photos there and also a blog roll so we can find new blogs to read.
All the details are over on this page and we start December 1st — fancy joining me?
By the way, this isn’t meant to be another obligation — it’s simply a lighthearted way to make the most of the last month of the year and maybe make a few new friends along the way. I’ll be sharing my photos on Instagram and can’t wait to explore the hashtag (we had over 22,000 photos shared on IG in August. Crazy.)
* And for those of you who were expecting this to be the workbook, have no fear! The Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook for 2015 will be ready for you NEXT WEEK with an extra treat to help you figure out your word for 2015.
I’ve been “into” beauty products ever since I mixed together oatmeal and yoghurt on the recommendation of Victoria Principal in a magazine article sometime in the 80s. I PORED over that article and tried all her tips (there were probably cucumber slices on my eyelids at some point). Cleanse, tone and moisturise was my mantra, and I guess it’s served me well as my skin is in pretty good nick, all things considered.
I got burned so often in my teenage I’ve spent the rest of my life covered in sunblock, something that has definitely contributed to my lack of wrinkles. However, my 40s have brought dryer skin and eye bags with them, and gone are the days when I wake up fresh faced. It bothers me occasionally, but mostly I am just grateful to be on this side of my healing work. I’ll take 40s wisdom and eye bags over my 20s youthful cluelessness any day!
I love it when bloggers do posts like this, so here, for your information and entertainment, is mine :)
These days I am loyal to a handful of products that suit my combination skin. In the morning I wash my face with One Love’s Brand New Day, a powder you mix with water to make an exfoliating paste that’s gentle enough to use every day. Game changing shiz, this stuff. I then moisturise with either Origins VitaZing moisturiser (SPF15 with a slight tint) or Origins Plantscription moisturiser (SPF25). I also use a dab of Origins GinZing eye cream. If I’m out shooting photos all day I wear Clinique’s sun cream on all exposed bits.
In the evening I remove my eye make up with Simple’s Eye Makeup Remover. I then wash my face with Origins Plantscription cleanser (doesn’t leave any residue) and moisturise with either Origins Make a Difference Night cream or One Love’s Love Springs Eternal serum.
I keep a lipbalm with me in every bag and pocket (Pitta balm is the best), and when I’m at my desk I spritz my face with John Masters Organics Lavender Hydrating Mist. I’m also obsessed with my new humidifier — it’s making such a difference to my eyes now the central heating is on all day.
Staring at my laptop all day doesn’t help.
And it’s true what they say — nothing beats a good nights’ sleep and lots of water. Meditation helps, too.
I love Kiehl’s Creme de Corps and also the Body Shop’s Chocomania Beautifying Oil, with frequent guest appearances from Ren’s Moroccan Rose Otto body lotion and Kai’s Body Glow. These days I only wash with Dr Bronner’s Lavender liquid soap (using unscented for new tattoos of which there seem to be many lately). Ren’s Guerande Salt body balm exfoliates my legs before shaving (I use a bit of hair conditioner as shaving cream – works a treat).
I have quick-to-tangle fine hair and spent most of teenage sporting one dreadful perm after another. At some point in my 30s I decided to accept the fact that I will never have thick voluminous locks, so I make the best of it with occasional highlights, a decent cut and lots of volumising spray — my hair particularly likes Aveda’s Pure Abundance Style Prep. I use Aussie Mega shampoo and L’Occitane’s Repairing conditioner. Huge fan of John Masters Organics Sea Mist spray. L’Oreal Elnett Satin hairspray all the way, obviously. My Body Shop hair brush has lasted years, though I only brush my hair before getting in the shower. Their comb is great for detangling.
My make-up routine is very simple as I’m not really interested in make-up as such, though obviously I appreciate its make-me-look-more-alive benefits. I don’t wear foundation but use a few dabs of Estee Lauder concealer under my eyes. I LOVE Origins Pinch Your Cheeks blusher — instantly makes you look healthier. Clinique’s Glossy black mascara has been my friend for years, as has the Body Shop’s liquid eyeliner in black or brown. I buy their lip liner in beech by the handful, and finish off with Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Graped-up. Done and done and takes less than five minutes.
I can’t stand the sensation of nail varnish on my fingernails but like to wear it on my toenails — Essie and Kure Bazaar are favourite brands. Oh, and I swear by my Tweezerman tweezers.
Ahhh, one of my favourite topics. I am completely and certifiably addicted to scent and “use” it to enhance my mood and boost my creativity. I dab and spray and spritz all day, as friends can testify, and always have a little bottle or two of something with me. At the last count I own 150+ fragrances and perfume oils — some are big name brands but the majority are from small perfumers and indie labels I’ve discovered over the years. I love spicy woodsy scents, with the occasional burst of big white flowers like tuberose and gardenia. I love fragrances that aren’t too sweet, but then I’ll find something so sweet I get obsessed with it. And I can’t resist dirty sexy scents that smell like hot skin, mmm. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the scents I like — I just know when they feel right to me. Usually that means layering different oils together to create the right blend. It truly is my passion and my pleasure. #HSPbenefits
Some favourites for you to explore:
Sweet Anthem (I adore Meredith and interviewed her for the Exploring the Senses ebook) – current faves are Ella, Poppy, Fox, Lolita and Ulalume
Diptyque – Tam Dao and Volutes
Pacifica - have lots but Tibetan Mountain Temple is my fave
Miller Harris – Feuilles de Tabac and Fleurs de Sel
Lotus Wei – Pure Energy and Infinite Love
Malin + Goetz for their sublime rum perfume oil (I made a special trip to their store while in NYC so it will always have happy associations)
Terry du Gunzberg – Flagrant Delice
Nasomatto – Hindu Grass
Jo Malone – Nutmeg & Ginger, always, and French Lime Blossom smells EXACTLY like linden blossom in the spring *sigh*
Etat Libre d’Orange – Noel au Balcon
Parfumerie Generale – Coze
Honore des Pres – Chaman’s Party
West Third Brand – Sandalo Tuberosa
L’Orientaliste – Santal and Orange Blossom (bought in Marrakech so especially cherished :)
CO Bigelow – Patchouli and Vanilla oils
So there you have it. What products do you swear by?
Ps. Pop back here on Wednesday when I’ll have something fun for you x
[video] Close your eyes and listen to this
If I had a teenage daughter or niece I would buy her this book
I’m obsessed with my Teeki leggings and can’t wait to get my hands on a pair of Jo’s Darling Legs!
Success redefined — loved this from Rachel
Xmas present ideas: this calender | this print | these totes
The Greatest Gift We Ever Had
I left social media for a week. This is what happened — something to think about, from Kate
The first sentence is a handshake
At home with Holly Farrell
My favourite animals
Happy weekend, loves! xo
[video] I’m utterly enchanted by this woman
Two good things: Rachel’s Wisdom Notes for a Well-Fed Holiday + Danielle’s Soul Sessions ebook
If I ever get married this wedding will be my inspiration
The empty container
I find these posts that Kaylah does so beautiful
New fave IG account: Satiregram
[video] “You wanna know my favourite app? Rubik’s Cube”
Sausage, potato + kale soup | vegan cauliflower (Noah: blossom broccoli) mashed potatoes | aphrodisiac smoothie with cacao + maca
[video] The book with no pictures
And finally, The Sacred Alone starts on Monday! This gentle course is an invitation to take 20 minutes each day to connect to the quiet knowing space in your heart, the place that offers refuge, wisdom and calm. Our 14 days together will be spread over 3 weeks so we have some breathing space at weekends — oh yes! After the fullness of the retreat I am so ready to sink into the space within me and spend some sacred time alone… you too?
Happy weekend, loves! xo