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All is calm



Niyya prayer mat and meditation blanket

How early is too early for the cliché ‘New Year, New You’ post?

In 2019 I surprised myself by getting with the meditation programme, but doing it totally at my own pace. And in truth, it’s meditation-lite; I use my Muse headband and app (yep, still using them) and fit it in 5-10 minute slots around whatever else I’m doing.

I supplement this with a relaxation download by Albert Smith that I love. This isn’t meditation, it’s more akin to having a fifteen minute nap, but it serves the purpose of clearing my head if I’ve had a hectic day, or prepping me for stress-inducing situations. For interviews, meetings, public speaking and the like, Albert’s my secret weapon. (Years ago, when I had the cassette version, this was also a life-saving pain management tool.)

In 2020, I want to try and meditate more and make it part of a regular routine. I know it shouldn’t be about ‘stuff’, but I’m flawed and can’t resist a prop or two. I love the look of these Niyya multi-functional prayer mats by Brooklyn designer Myhra Mizra (more…)



Shop the post: The late, late gift guide



Hermes Vinyl boombox in swift calfskin and streaming canvas

I don’t think I’ve ever been able to get a gift guide up in time so maybe don’t consider this a gift guide. Maybe it’s more of a self-gifting guide. Or a ‘what to spend your Christmas money on in January’ guide.

Anyhoo, here’s a collection of things that have caught my eye that are useful, beautiful, or somewhere in between. I like supporting new and indie businesses, traditional heritage companies and projects by friends. And obviously I can never resist a book or two… (more…)



High Street fragrance update: Zara X Jo Malone, Urban Outfitters, M&S, Glossier



Glossier You EDP

I just noticed that the Urban Outfitters Gourmand fragrances* that I raved about a couple of years ago (below) are back in stock. I assumed they had been discontinued. I get a lot of traffic from searches on this fragrance line, which isn’t that surprising; it’s £14 and very good. Sweet and marzipan-y if you like that ‘brunch-at-the-patisserie’ kind of smell, and the bottles are good looking too. (more…)



Positive beauty: the perfect mouth (updated)



La Bouche Parfait by La Bouche Rouge

It’s good to see how La Bouche Rouge is rounding out its offer of highly desirable sustainable lipsticks. The brand began with its distinctive leather-cased refillable lipsticks in every shade of red. It’s recently gone into Harrods* and this autumn it arrived in Dover Street Parfums Market, the new beauty concept store based in Paris. (more…)