What’s our founder and director Jennifer Jones been obsessing over this month?
Unfortunately I got Covid last month so in between napping and coughing, I had lots of time for books, TV and online shopping! Although I wouldn’t recommend getting it, I must say that a week in bed guilt-free was pretty good!
What I watched:
There are some great shows out at the moment which are perfect for light viewing with some amazing, heart tugging writing in there too. I think we forget how spoiled we are these days with what is available to us!
I absolutely loved Somebody Somewhere on Binge. It’s a comedy series about Sam who finds herself back in her hometown in Kansas. She doesn’t feel like she belongs there and is grappling with the loss of her sister, her mother’s alcoholism and her general lack of direction. When she rekindles a friendship with an old high school choir friend she discovers that joy can live in the smallest of actions. This was one of the most charming, warm, honest and beautiful shows I have watched in ages. It is also laugh-out-loud funny. I didn’t realise just how much it touched me until I finished all seven episodes and then proceeded to watch it all over again from the start. Five stars. 10 stars. All the stars!
This Is Going to Hurt is based on the brilliant book by Adam Kay, a junior doctor with the NHS in the UK. It provides such incredible insight into the real life of doctors with their relentless hours and the stress they must endure every day. It’s particularly poignant now with so many frontline workers bearing the brunt of the last two years of the pandemic. The storyline is fast-paced and humorous. Ben Wishaw in the lead role is just excellent, with a fantastic support cast.
Acapulco is just the tonic for these rainy La Nina days! Oh this show is just so visually bright and cheesy it had me smiling. The story follows a hotel in Mexico “La Collinas” and the staff who work there. It follows the career path of Maximo as he tries to work his way up the ladder and win the heart of Julia the receptionist. The hotel interiors are incredible and the colour just explodes in every scene.
Anatomy of a Scandal follows James Whitehouse, a Parliamentary minister who is a happily married family man when a scandalous secret comes to light and threatens to ruin him. With three powerhouse actors on screen — Sienna Miller, Rupert Friend and Michelle Dockery — the acting is absolutely spot on. Special mention goes to Sienna Miller’s stunningly pared back luxury wardrobe and the interiors of their Georgian house in London! Check out the use of wallpaper in every room! Cole & Son heaven!
I loved the Oscar-winning movie Coda (which stands for Child of Deaf Adults). A story about Ruby who is the only hearing member of a deaf family and how she navigates the family ties that bind her to their fishing business and her passion and talent for singing. A real tear jerker about the love that a family has for each other. You’ll go and hug your kids after!
What I listened to:
I stumbled upon Self Esteem on my favourite podcast How to Fail. Since then I have had “I do this all the time” on repeat! The lyrics are witty and truthful and so funny. There were lines such as “Don’t send those long paragraph texts. Stop it, don’t” where I felt she was speaking directly to single me back in 2009! Ha! Above all I do love the line “Prioritise pleasure”. That’s something I think we could all do a bit more of these days in the land of busy busy busy.
Another powerful message this month came from the What’s Essential podcast by Greg McKeown. With business being harder and harder these days and with none of the usual breaks in place I have been feeling rather exhausted. Episode 74: Achieving Breakthrough Results without the Burnout was incredibly useful in crystallising some key actions I could take right now to take a load off my plate while still propelling the business forward. Highly recommended for anyone out there feeling stressed and frazzled.
What I read:
I am a big believer in self-improvement and really take the time to explore new topics that interest me and help me grow as a person. Two books were key in shifting my mindset this month.
The first book I sought out after walking the supermarket aisles in a complete daze trying to think of what to buy for the week. I have always been a fan of fad diets and have tried them all (keto, paleo, fasting, juicing, cabbage soup; you name it, I’ve done it!) and with each diet I lose weight and then it comes right back. Not to mention there’s the general misery that comes with denying yourself the food you love! And for once I thought LIFE IS TOO SHORT!
After researching the subject online I bought Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch. This book focuses on listening to your body and honouring your hunger. Ever look at your toddler and wonder how they just eat when they are hungry and stop when they’re full? We are all born with intuitive eating which gets beaten out of us over time through the diet industry and general social pressure on how women should look. I just loved this book, it made so much sense and I can happily say that I feel like I’ve ditched the diet industry once and for all and am so much happier!
Last year I had the pleasure of working with a professional coach to help me through some deepset issues that were preventing me from moving forward in my life and in business. Kemi Nekvapil is one of the most calm, collected and formidable people I have ever met and a complete joy to engage with. She’s written a new book called Power: A woman's guide to living and leading without apology which is an incredible book for women to reclaim their power and to build a life full of fulfilment, joy and happiness. Full of personal stories and tools it made me reflect on my own life with wisdom and insight.
What I bought:
Every year I treat myself to a new dress for my birthday. It’s become a bit of a tradition to splash out on one amazing dress every year. Last year I finally bought a dress by Ulla Johnson. And this year was from a brand I have loved and coveted for ages! La Double J is basically MY BRAND. Founded and run by soul sister JJ Martin (another JJ!) the brand is all about colour, joy and maximalism. Sound familiar?? I found this amazing dress on sale on Matches and have worn it to our trade fair, my birthday lunch, a pool party and it’s being worn for another long lunch next week. Who said you need a new outfit for every occasion? All you need is that one great dress!
Ever since I saw one of their artworks in Jardan on Oxford St I have really loved Studio of the Sun. Their pieces are like hippy holidays for the visual senses! I love their sense of playfulness and fun. So it was great to see on their Instagram a release of prints for Flood Relief. I snapped up this limited edition one framed and can’t wait for it to arrive and take pride of place in the living room. I think it was meant to be since it was a full pink moon this month on my birthday so I was definitely the Moon Dancer that night around the pool!
We had our trade fair in April and it was such a long-awaited event. Our last one was back in February 2020! One of the perks of the fair is being able to see all the best brands under one roof and chat to our fellow wholesalers. Another perk is being able to order directly from them or to pick up a sample or two! I fell in love with Journey of Something which sells the best puzzles, arts and craft kits and toys. These are seriously gorgeous objects which you would happily hang on your wall or leave out on display. They work in collaboration with artists such as Whitney Spicer and Georgie Wilson so it’s a great way to have some of their art in a unique way too!
I also picked up a stunning leather collar for my beloved dog, Arthur the Airedale by the brand Georgie Paws. Did you know the founder of this brand Violet was just 13 years old when she launched it? I am beginning to feel very inadequate! They make the most handsome collars from buffalo leather with waxed thread patterns – very tribal chic! Arthur is only allowed to wear his on special occasions such as an alfresco dinner with moi!
What I ate:
I finally got to go to Pellegrino 2000 after Covid thwarted my reservation. It is absolute Italian heaven. We got a little round corner tables and after a Martini (vodka, dirty, three olives) I feasted on a pillowy buttery parcel of prawn ravioli and finished it off with a limoncello jelly. It’s a great example of a neighbourhood Italian taken to the next level. Brilliant service and ambiance.
At home I am so so so fed up with cooking. I feel like I’ve been cooking dinner non-stop for two years. I do have a new go-to which I eat at least twice a week. And that is the humble Waldorf Chicken Salad. No big shakes here but it has everything you need for a satisfying lunch and leftovers. Crunchy apple and celery, sweetness from the grapes, protein from the chicken and then flavour from the walnuts. I make a dressing with mayo, white balsamic, honey and grain mustard and it hits the spot. Husband loves it and I do a deconstructed one for my 6yo daughter Teddie as she is still in that phase where she eats one thing at a time on her plate and does NOT like them mixed up. Sigh.