Now, I’m gonna be straight with you, as I sit here nursing my first cold this Winter, sipping on a hot fruity beverage, snivelling into a tissue and watching the rain pour down my office window, it doesn’t really feel so Spring-like! Nevertheless, Spring is just around the corner and we are all about being present and appreciating the beauty that this season brings, and boy have we got some awesome stuff to share with you today. From the only coat you’ll be needing to brave the March winds, to a beautiful eco-friendly (and wallet friendly) laundry cleaning alternative, to period underwear (yes you heard me right, this is about to change you menstruating life!!). We’re also further educating ourselves by taking up a nostalgic habit, as well developing a couple of new ones to expand our minds too!
So grab yourself a cuppa something good and let’s get right on into it…
One: The duvet coat
Because March = wind.
As I paced through town the other day with my nephew, I realised that the March winds were well and truly here already (read: my hair strewn all over my face, and we were getting blown to pieces!). I ran into a friend, and while I stood there shivering in a denim jacket (nice choice, Clare!) she looks snug as a bug, completely un-phased in her knee-length puffer coat.
Noted. And now on my wish list.
The perfect all-over draft excluder, the long puffer coat is effectively a duvet to wear all day (aka Heaven), and people are making them look pretty darn cool…
Two: TED Talks
Ok, so I’m WAY behind on this, for sure, but new-to-me this month are TED Talks.
Their youtube channel is pretty much all I’ve been watching (save for an ungodly amount of Fresh Prince episodes since that arrived on Netflix!) and their podcasts are all I’ve been listening to!
For the few of you who aren’t yet acquainted with TED, they’re a nonprofit organisation devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less), and they’re amazing.
From the most popular TED talk of all time, by Sir Ken Robinson, a discussion as to whether/how traditional schooling kills creativity, to ’10 things you didn’t know about orgasm’, to ‘the power of introverts’… No topic is off their radar and TED.com is truly a labyrinth of knowledge and inspiration that I’m quite happily lost to!
At 20 minutes a go, they’re perfect for your dog walk, your commute, a soak in the tub… You name it, there’s a TED talk for that moment!
Three: Time for Turmeric
Turmeric is a hot little topic right now. Known for it’s role in many a curry and its rich golden colour, this root has played an important role in traditional Eastern cultures and Ayurvedic medicine, and is now gaining more mainstream popularity due to it’s therapeutic benefits.
In a nut shell, here’s why BBC’s Good Food recommend upping your Turmeric consumption:
- It has a range of health promoting benefits due to curcumin, the yellow pigment. As several metabolic diseases and age-related degenerative disorders are closely associated with oxidative processes in the body, using herbs and spices as a source of antioxidants can help to combat oxidation.
- It is used in the treatment of numerous inflammatory conditions for its anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin is thought to slow down the inflammatory pathway, and has been shown to relieve pain and swelling in people with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Another active ingredient in turmeric is turmerone. Although far less is known about turmerone compared to curcumin, it can be obtained from whole ground turmeric. Some studies suggest tumerone can support cognitive performance due to its neuroprotective properties.
- Research also suggests that curcumin may ward of heart attacks, delay onset of diabetes even prevent cancer (Huffington post)
Four: Eco Laundry
This has been an absolute game changer: Soap Nuts.
I know right!? I hadn’t heard of them either until a couple of friends recommended them.
What are they? They’re actually a berry shell (although they look more like a nut!) that grow on the Sapindus mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas and naturally contain soap!
Ok, so what’s so great about them? Where to start! There’s so much to love about soap nuts (excuse me while I get excited about laundry!) in a *nut* shell (so sorry!):
- They’re gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis
- This also makes them perfect for baby clothes and even cloth diapers
- They’re crazy good value for money as the soap nuts can be reused 3-4 times, so a 1kg bag at around £11 will do 480 washes – with no additional fabric softener needed!
- Soap nuts are also great for septic and grey water systems
- When they’re all used up, the soap nuts are biodegradable and can simply be added to your compost
- They’re wild-harvested, meaning they are gathered from wild trees grown without any kind of chemicals, fertilisers, or pesticides.
- Aside from using a few natural stain removing additions to the occasional wash, you only need use soap nuts (no fabric softener or additional detergent!)
- Clothes are left super soft
- They’re scent free (sometimes we add a few drops of our fave essential oil, just for kicks), but no highly perfumed clothes here!
- Soap nuts have the ability to gently loosen fibres. Chemical detergents can beat and weaken fibres resulting in clothes and towels “wearing out” much sooner.With soap nuts you’ll notice less pilling on your fabrics and extended overall life of textiles
….Phew! Best just take my word for it! They’re amazing! We loved buying from this company (their stain remover bar is also awesome!), but prefer the little zip baggy (for putting the nuts into to add to the washing machine drum) that came from ordering Ecozone nuts from Amazon (just FYI!)
I’m gonna let them explain themselves – ’cause they do it so damn well!
(Our Co-Founder & SHE-EO, Miki Agrawal) + (her twin sister, Radha) + (their friend) + (some gnarly period accidents) + (100 million girls missing school just because of their periods) + (3.5 years of research + development) + (like, 30 badass feminists) = the THINX you know and love and bleed into today.
…In essence these rad humans have developed and created reusable period underwear that can hygienically and quickly absorb up to two regular sized tampons worth of blood.
They describe their underwear:
THINX is made up of four bits of tech that makes ‘em anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant.The top layer fights bacteria and absorbs any liquid into the über thin layer right beneath it, so you always stay dry (and fly, obvs).This way, you can wear ’em all day long. And no, they don’t feel like diapers, and it’s not like sitting in your own blood. Boom.Yes, they are indeed reusable. That’s the point! To take care of your THINX, you rinse immediately after use, cold wash (waiting ’till laundry day is a-ok) and hang dry. Don’t use bleach or fabric softener! And yes, the rest of your clothes will be fiiine.
And, incase that wasn’t enough awesomeness already, whenever you buy a pair of THINX, the THINX foundation works to educate & empower girls and women; eliminate shame associated with menstruation & women’s health; and lower our carbon footprint by committing to reusable products.
Six: Nostalgic News
We keep hearing about fake news, how people are using their social media as their main (and in most cases completely biased!) news source.
Whelp guys, let me encourage you to kick it a little old school: buy a newspaper. Sure, I’m not condoning all newspapers or saying they’re always more reliable than what might crop up on your newsfeed, but I am saying there’s something kinda nostalgic about reading it from an actual paper, rather than allowing a constantly updating feed of media bombard your brain every morning.
There’s a slower ritual in taking a walk to the local newsagents, and sitting down to read entire stories (rather than clickbait headlines!) and that’s something to be valued.
Seven: Now Following
When I read that Emma Watson had created a new Instagram feed detailing the ins and outs of her every ethical outfit/beauty look, you better believe I dropped everything to hit that ‘follow’ button!
And @the_press_tour has not disappointed yet! This great feed has already introduced me to the raw food-grade ingredients of beauty brand @RMSbeauty, amazing vegan shoe designer @goodguysdontwearleather and the super soft eco-friendly bamboo basics of @boodywear, to mention just a few!
If you’re interested in what you put on your body (as well as what goes in it!) then Emma’s yo’ gal!
Eight: Love Notes
Recently on a course I did, they recommended using a chalk pen to write the words ‘What can I do for you today?’ on your bathroom/bedroom mirror, so that every morning you’d see that note and remember to show yourself a little love, or kindness that day.
It works like a charm, by the by, but it’s now become a bit of a thing in our household, that I’d really encourage you guys to take up!
Leaving little notes. You don’t have to waste paper, you don’t need to spill your entire heart onto the page, just simply grab a chalk pen, and leave a little somethin’ somethin’ on the mirror (or the shower glass, or even the car window?!) for your fam or friends to brighten their day.
My beau and I have found ourselves doing it quite a bit since that chalk pen’s been buzzing round our dressing room, and every time it puts a smile on my face!
Nine: Morning Pages
I stumbled across this concept when researching bullet journalling recently: Morning Pages.
What are Morning Pages? Well, my friend, it’s a style of free writing, also known as a ‘brain dump’, it’s a kind of journalling.
Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, defines Morning Pages as:
“…Three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages–they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind – and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise and synchronise the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
Of course, it can be two pages, even one, or you can simply write for a period of time, as long as you write! They can help you problem solve, reveal answers you’ve been looking for and clear your brain to allow for more creativity and clarity!
Ten: Hey, Spring
And finally, with Spring just around the corner and (unlike today) a bit of sunshine and mild temperatures showing their lovely faces on occasion, we just wanted to take a moment to encourage you to be wholly present during the coming weeks.
Spring is a gorgeous season, so totally refreshing and beautiful. Take time out to be outside, get on your bike, buy local seasonal produce from the market, stop to notice the snow drops and crocuses peeping through, and take some long deep breaths of fresh country air.
Have an utterly gorgeous weekend, you beautiful people and we’ll see you on the flip side!
Peace + Love