Quarter One 2023 Jones List
What have founder Jennifer Jones and Creative Director Jennifer Sampson been up to in the first three months of 2023? Let's see what JJ has been eating, wearing, doing and watching first:
It’s been a fast-paced start to the working year but in my personal life I’ve adopted a slower speed this year. I think a lot of people are still recovering from the chaos of the last few years and I’m loving a simpler way of life and enjoying some home time rather than rushing around. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t found many things to delight myself though! Here’s what the first few months of 2023 has delivered to me!
What I’m learning:
I’ve challenged myself to skill up on things I’m interested in this year. Italian and Yoga! For Italian I’ve gone the Duolingo way and I must say it’s become a real nightly treat to sit down and speak Italian for 15 minutes or so. It also really helps if you buy a beautiful notebook and then write down all the new words and phrases you’ve learnt. Normally I put a lot of pressure on myself when learning new things but this time I’m just doing it for the pure pleasure of using my mouth to make new and different sounds. No goal in sight just loving the experience!
I’m absolutely loving my yoga practice and found this excellent book to gently increase my knowledge and understanding of this way of life. Meditation from the Mat has a chapter a day so you can either take a year to read it or take it at a faster pace and read ahead. I love the idea that once you finish the book you can start again from the beginning.
I’m loving my new nightly ritual of retreating to the bedroom and speaking Italian and then reading something that makes me think.
What I ate:
I am late to the Recipe Tin Eats party since there are already a million people following Nagi and Dozer on Instagram. But when I heard about this cookbook from a Sydney woman which overtook Jamie Oliver and Ottolenghi for the best cookbook this Christmas I just had to try it. Well, I am converted! The recipes are super simple and easy and there’s nothing that you haven’t heard of but that is where the magic lies. Just good everyday food that is tasty and pleases the whole family. No squeezing pomegranate seeds or having to use a preserved lemons and then not knowing what to do with the rest of the jar. I mean why did we all stop making steak fajitas anyway? 10/10 from the Jones’s!
What I watched:
I have a confession to make. I found out about the TV series “This is Us” during the Christmas holidays and since then I think I have given it about 80 hours of my life. And I don’t regret one single minute! It’s an American family drama show which charts the lives of the Pearson family through all their trials and tribulations. It stars Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia for crying out loud. But if like me you just want to watch something that doesn’t involve heavy crime, violence, zombies, or the end of the world then it’s brilliant.
I also enjoyed Fleishman’s in Trouble after reading the book a few years ago. This is about a Dad who is left high and dry with his kids after his ex-wife skips town and disappears. Suddenly at a loss of what to do with them he finds his carefully planned life turned upside down. There’s great acting here by Clare Danes and Jesse Eisenberg and we witness how they met at college and then how their marriage painfully disintegrated. There are scenes here with New York mothers that make me shudder and thank god we live in Australia where frankly life is much more normal and we can go to Woolies in our sweatpants with no issue. It’s a great binge series for a rainy day.
On the plane to Ho Chi Minh I watched The Lost King which is a movie that could easily fly under the radar amongst all the Oscar movie hype or the latest Marvel. I love Steve Coogan and this movie has the same feeling as Philomena which he also produced. Also a true story it’s about Philippa Langley a woman who has a sudden urge after watching the play Richard III to find his remains and to clear his name as a usurper. Not an easy task some 700 years later! It’s essentially about passion and a woman who fights against the odds and a lot of bureaucracy to do something which is important to her. We need these kinds of people in the world!
What I read:
I loved Horse by Geraldine Brooks and could not put it down. I think I read it in 2 days! It’s a sweeping tale that is born from a painting of a racehorse and the story behind it. There’s a number of narrators in the story – a graduate student in Washington in modern time to the black slave who looked after the horse in the 1850’s. All in all, it's storytelling at its very best and you easily get caught within the magic of Lexington the finest race house in American history and the world that surrounded him. An absolute brilliant book and one of the best I have read in years.
What I bought:
I have found the absolute best best best pair of swimmers. In fact I am not sure if I should share it here. But I will. I’ve been looking for a one piece black swimsuit that is ultra flattering, can be worn as a body suit if needed and also has a retro feel. The You Choose suit by Canvas Bottega has been developed by Sheree Commerford (of Captain and the Gypsy fame) as the perfect suit. Made from recycled fishing nets in Australia it has a great textured fabric which holds you in, a flattering boy leg which throws both retro and sporty vibes and a low back. It’s ain’t cheap but it’s the only swimsuit I wear now!
Over to Jennifer Sampson now with what she has been up to!
What I listened to:
You may have guessed that I’m a mad film buff and (I think I’m late to the party on this one) I just discovered Jason Bateman (who I LOVE), Will Arnett and Sean Hayes’ podcast Smartless. They interview huge industry heavy hitters and I think because I listen to so many female centric podcasts that it’s refreshing to listen to three men talking? Because they discuss the film industry the hosts have a specific inside point of view and it just feels like mates talking which is so cool when it’s Keanu Reeves they are talking to! Full of dorky insider behind the scenes type of trivia.
What I ate:
I had a divine long lunch at Botanic House in the botanic gardens in Sydney recently. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I went to the Botanic Gardens which is shameful being a Sydney sider. The food is by Luke Nguyen and they only do a set lunch which was fine by us, it was just so lovely to see tourists again roaming the gardens and then walk around to the Opera Bar and be flooded with people on a Monday. Such a buzz and hum in the city after covid. One thing from that lunch that has now migrated into a regular cocktail night favourite and replaced the Aperol spritz in our house is this Gin Spritz which is so delicious! Combine Ice, Gin, Bandini Prosecco, Pineapple syrup, Elderflower tonic and garnish with a cucumber slice & sprig of mint. I serve it in a big wine glass, I don’t know why it just feels great that way!
What I watched:
I devoured the absolutely fascinating telling of the rise of LVMH and the Gucci Group called Kingdom of Dreams. If you are fan of fashion documentaries, it’s an absolute must watch. Chronicling the rise and demise of Marc Jacobs for LV, Alexander McQueen for Givenchy, Tom Ford at Gucci and John Galliano for Dior, the demands put on these creatives was outrageously untenable. This stunning four-part series spans the ‘Golden Age’ of fashion, a disruptive period from the 1990’s until the 2010’s where these new young designers aligned with gargantuan and powerful fashion houses.
What I bought:
We have just renovated our kitchen, so I have loved buying the finishing touches for her. I got this floating brass soap holder from Design Stuff which comes in a bunch of colours and is a fast and super practical way to update your kitchen and bathroom. We used this sink from Mayfair, so I finished it with this brass sink/plug fitting from ABI interiors. The budget couldn’t stretch to a super exxy bridge tap fitting so I did the legwork and the best option I could come up with that was super affordable (also comes with a 10-year warranty) was this one from Ikea! I used these tiles from Tile Cloud which give a Moroccan Zelige look at about a quarter of the cost.
What I read:
I found all the inspiration for my kitchen renovation came from American interior designer Amber Lewis, I love how her spaces feel very California casual and high end but timeless combined with a fresh modernity. So I referenced her book Amber Lewis Made for Living a lot over the past year. I like a space, especially a big ticket one like a kitchen that can evolve over time with accessories and small tweaks. She has just published a new book too, Call it Home – which I can’t wait to get my hands on.