I am finally back in my regular routine of going to bed at night and waking up in the morning. That may sound silly, but after getting back from southern Africa, I was hit with the hardest jet lag. It’s been two weeks of crashing at 6pm and then waking up at 4am. The jet lag is gone but I am still feeling inspired, relaxed and more confident since coming back from my travels.
Since getting back I’ve been really into finding and reading obscure point of views from other writers, listening to various podcasts and music, shedding clutter from my apartment, and updating my decor a little bit. I’ve been feeling really positive and upbeat so I wanted to share the 5 things that are making me happy right now.
1. CANVAS PRINTS I found this amazing canvas print while in Cape Town. While in Africa, I didn’t do a bunch of shopping for two reasons. (1) I hate tourist traps and am really moving away from collecting curios and knick-knacks. For the most part, they are massed produced, are unoriginal and don’t really say much about the country you got it from. (2) I only had a backpack and didn’t want to pack it with extra things. But when we ended up at Mariner’s Wharf in Cape Town one rainy day, I just fell in love with this canvas. Mariner’s Wharf is similar to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco or South Street Seaport in New York. I stumbled upon the piece at the back of one of the market vendor’s shack. It was all wet from the rain that had just passed by. When I saw it, I stopped and must have stared at it for about three minutes. After that, I knew I had to have it. It had to be rolled up while still wet and I didn’t unroll it until I laid it out at DeSerres to get it stretched and custom framed. I loved the experience of using DeSerres. They hand-stretched the canvas to perfection and ensured the corners are perfectly folded and tucked into the frame. It looks amazing just above my TV. My point-and-shoot digital camera doesn’t show the beauty of this piece. Out of all the art and photography in my home, I think this is my new favourite. It was worth the extra effort of getting it back home.
2. EDITORIAL BLOGS I’ve been trying to do a bit more reading. A part of that has become finding niche blogs that are like magazine editorial articles than blog posts. I am no longer fond of fashion blogs that just feature outfit posts and looks of the day. I think they are super boring, repetitive and I can no longer relate to outfit posts of whatever expensive designer clothes that the blogger is being paid to wear (and sell me). I’ve come across a handful of really great fashion blogs that include a lot of storytelling and editorial content centered around the balance of consumerism and minimalist living, travelling, work/life integration, the environment, entrepreneurship and topics of that nature. I’ve been reading The Style Line, Phoebe Lovatt’s blog on The WW Club, and OK Real. I am always on the look out for cool, interesting and modern takes on being a woman, being an individual, being independent and being an entrepreneur. I know reading blogs – even if they are more on the storytelling and editorial side – doesn’t get me out of reading actual books. I know how important reading is, especially since I want to improve my creative writing skills this year.
3. MUSIC I love music. All types of music. When I work out I always listen to pop and hip-hop, but any other time, I love listening to jazz, funk, soul – sounds that have a heart and soul. Right now Nao is doing it for me with a song called, Zillionaire. It has a great beat and I love the sound of her voice.
4. WINE Over the Christmas holidays, my boss gave me this great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon called Beringer Founders’ Estate. I don’t typically enjoy medium-bodied wines so much (I’m more of a full-bodied gal), but this one was really exquisite. In fact, the wine was so good, the empty bottle is still on my counter top because I don’t want to forget the name. It’s a little pricey to have as an everyday wine, but I want to get it again for a special occasion.
5. PODCASTS I mentioned before that I’ve been listing to a lot of different music and trying to read different voices and perspectives. A part of that has been listening to podcasts. I’m just about obsessed with Mattieologie’s podcasts. Although I no longer frequent fashion blogs like I used to, I do enjoy Mattie’s approach to blogging, content publishing and the business side of her hustle. Her podcasts offer short and to-the-point tips, tricks and insights for those looking to treat their blog or online publishing as a business. The info is really great, plus I love how her podcasts are so well produced. I am amazed at how she tries to get one out each day. You can listen to the Mattieolgie podcast for yourself and see if you enjoy it as well.
So that’s a round up of what’s making me happy these days. Now that NFL season is over, I’ll probably have so much more time to write, blog and research more great finds. Have a great week!