It’s officially August, it’s Leo Season, and, my birthday is less than three weeks away! If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that Birthdays are kind of a big deal for me. And if you listen to the podcast, you’ll have heard that I’m turning thirty this year (whoah), and that Dave is taking me on a mystery vaycay. I have no idea where we’re going – only that it involves a little city time, and some beach time. He keeps psyching me out – telling me we’re going somewhere dope one minute, and then someplace cold and rainy the next. Basically I have no clue. But I’m for sure looking forward to taking some time out, getting away from London and work for a while. Oh, and I’m going to read this book while I’m gone.
So, in the b’day spirit, I thought I’d dedicate this month’s TMJ to a little wishlist/gift manifestation. It’s pretty cookbook heavy (I got a bit over excited on a trip to Foyle’s). Pretty sure these books have been out for a while now, but I’m still excited to check them out. I’m also sharing some less obvious gift ideas that are built around experiences rather than stuff. I’m moving house again in about a month, so I’m pretty conscious of not collecting more stuff, especially tat that I don’t need. I’ve been on a bit of a minimalist vibe lately too, clearing out my closet and organising a clothes swap in my ‘hood – creating some physical space really helps me find some headspace too. So a cool gift idea for me would be something that gets used up – flowers, chocolates (duh), but also experiences like massage and bouquet making at a cool florist – check out my picks below.
- Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry – I’m a big fan of BT’s African, Caribbean, and Southern – inspired recipes, probably because I lived in TX for so long (His BBQ baked black eyed peas from an earlier book are poppin’) 100% plant based and health conscious but with BIG flavour. Can’t wait to check out the latest addition to his cookbook collection.
- Crossroads is the super cool celeb spot in LA that happens to be 100% plant based. Don’t think I’ll be in LA anytime soon (although if anyone has a spare ticket, hook a girl up!), but have grand notions of cooking up a fancy ass dinner party from this book. I mean, if it’s good enough for Bey-Z, it’s good enough for me.
- So, in case you missed the memo, new agey spirituality is hot shit rn. And whether you’re setting intentions, manifesting, meditating, or just want to make your space super chill, sometimes you don’t want to mess with candles and inevitably spilling half of your essential oils moving your oil burner from one place to another. I’ve been eyeing up this aroma diffuser from Muji. It looks cool (because part of the new, new agey is also good design), it has a soft light so as not to fuck w/ your circadian rhythm, plus is has a bunch of time settings – and none of that weird burned out essential oil residue. Get your calm on in style.
- More books – I flicked through this book in the store and it had some pretty dope lookin’ plant based cheese ideas, plus it’s French, and French food is always fancy.
- Vegan Bowl Attack – sometimes you don’t want fancy, you just want something you can throw together in a bowl in a few minutes. This is less about recipes and more about inspiration when you don’t know what to eat, or need an easy weekday dinner.
- Fly new chocolate brand alert!! Cool branding, check! Delicious flavours, check! Good for you ingredients, compared to a Mars bar? Check! Wouldn’t be a bday celebration without chocolate, would it. H/T to my buds at Lifebox for telling me about Maza.
- HausWitch is an American company that deal in good vibes and raising the positive energy around you and your home. Even if you’re not drawn towards the spiritual or the ~witchy~ you could probably do with a little more magic in your life, right? I know I can. Which is why I’m really into the idea of these HausCraft kits – each one contains a ‘spell’ to create a specific change in your space – from clearing out gnarly stale energy to bringing in a sense of calm and balance like your house has just done 90 minutes of yoga. I’m really loving the Dream Haus kit for helping you lock down the perfect pad – like I said, I’m moving soon and in London, I need all the help I can get not to end up squatting in Mile End. Content Beauty stock a few of the kits – (not the DreamHaus, but I’d settle for the North Winds one) plus a bunch of other cool room sprays.
So let’s talk about experiences – I’m big into the idea of self-care rn (although practicing it is sooo not happening just now). My guest on the pod this Friday is too, and we talk about the little, everyday things you can do to take care of you (that don’t cost a million bucks) so be sure you subscribe on iTunes to get it first. BUT, we’re not talking everyday here; we’re talking OTT birthday #treatyoself ish. First off, I would have a facial at TriYoga Camden, but not just any old facial, I want the one using my fave skincare brand – Skin & Tonic. Then, once that’s done, I want a super pampering hot stone massage. And after that I’d take myself to Mildred’s in Camden for lunch, with cake, obvs.
Another cool gift idea is the hand-tied bouquet workshop at Rebel Rebel – I love having fresh flowers in the house, but I never really know what to do with them besides putting one type of flower in a vase, I don’t know how to arrange them and make them look fancy – this workshop teaches you how to pick the stems and the foliage and how to make it look all kinds of pretty. They have one each month and special wreath making workshops at Christmas time (which I went to last year as was so much fun). Best part is, you get to take your creations home with you at the end.
If those dates don’t work for you, then check out the Flower Society for more workshops.
Lastly, if you’re on the clean beauty wagon like me, (which if you’re not, you need to get on this) then you need to get down to Clean Beauty Co’s luxury, non-toxic beauty workshop and DIY that ish! Everything these girls do is beautiful and so much fun. Someone get me tickets, yeah?
What would you add to your b’day wish list?
Watch out for some new HuffPo blogs coming soon, until then, be cool,