6 Everyday Luxuries Brightening Up My January

Saturday 9 January 2021

Little luxuries to brighten up January

Whichever way you paint it, January can be pretty grim. It’s dark in the mornings and evenings, and everything is cold. 

The joy of Christmas is over, and everyone is repenting for their excesses by going on restrictive diets and giving up drink. We’re all trying to save money and force ourselves out running. Summer holidays are just too far away to look forward to. 

And to add to all the joy this year, we are also in a third National Lockdown as Covid-19 cases soar.

Let’s keep it real, January sucks.

The only thing I’ve found to combat the blues is taking pleasure in little luxuries that are good for mind, body and soul. 

When you can celebrate the small things in life, it’s good for your wellbeing. You start to feel that the world might not be such a terrible place. It’s all about the joy of the moment, being present and indulging the senses.

These are the six small wonders that have been helping me to do just that lately.

Coulax Sunrise Clock | £38.99 Amazon

Coulax Sunrise Clock review

Coulax Sunrise Clock review

By nature, I’m a morning person. It’s when I feel my best and do quality work. I know when I get up earlier in the mornings, I have a better day overall. I hate feeling rushed, and mornings before work with two young children can be the very definition  of that. 

Everything flows so much more smoothly when I can wake up gradually and not have to jump out of bed the second my alarm sounds. I tend to be fine at this during the summer months, but struggle a lot in the winter. When it's cold and pitch-black, and bed is so snuggly and warm, convincing yourself to get out of it at 6am is so much harder. 

Adding this Sunrise Clock to my life has helped massively. You set the alarm, and from half an hour before, the light comes on gradually, mimicking a sunrise and progressing from a warm amber glow to whiter daylight. Your alarm tone is a choice of nature sounds or the radio and I’ve opted for birdsong. 

It’s made a huge difference to my mornings, and I like using the light in the evening too as it's dim and relaxing (you can also programme a ‘sunset’ to get to sleep if you like).

It’s such a nice, gentle way to wake up, I don’t think I could ever go back to using the alarm on my phone.

Molton Brown Patchouli & Saffron Nourishing Body Lotion | £25.00 Molton Brown

Molton Brown Patchouli & Saffron Nourishing Body Lotion review

In winter, the one thing that is pretty much guaranteed is dry skin. The combination of going from warm interiors to the cold outside, central heating, biting winds and swathing ourselves eighteen layers deep means even skin that normally behaves itself tends to get more than a little dull and parched.  

A creamy, indulgent body lotion is a seasonal must-have. It keeps skin feeling comfortable and looking good, plus this one smells amazing, like most products from Molton Brown. The saffron also gives some antioxidant protection against environmental damage.

Applying this after a bath or a shower feels really opulent - but it's a small, everyday treat. Definitely much needed at this time of year!

Wicks + Stones Infinity Lemongrass and Persian Lime Crystal Soy Candle | £31.20 Amazon

Wicks + Stones Infinity Lemongrass and Persian Lime Crystal Soy Candle review

Another must-have for me at this grey, arse-end of the year are beautiful scented candles. Just lighting one can really lift your mood. There’s something about the warm flicker of candle light and  a gorgeously perfumed space that feels like the ultimate luxury and makes a home so welcoming. 

And if we’re all confined to our houses again, I’m damn well going to make sure mine is a place I enjoy spending time! 

I have tried a lot of candles in my time, but there’s something very special about this boutique brand. The scents are incredible and they really linger - the place still smells strongly into the next day. The wooden wicks give a low, slow flame that’s really unlike normal candles. This one in particular is a beautiful clean, fresh smell. 

The candles are hand-poured and made of clean soy wax that doesn’t release chemicals. Something even more special - each candle contains a natural crystal, said to be good for channeling a particular type of energy. I don’t know if I really believe the healing crystals thing, but any good vibes are more than welcome! I do seem to be drawn to crystals, so perhaps there is something in it. 

This candle features a chunk of pyrite to promote intuition and wellbeing. Wicks + Stones also has an ‘Infinity’ Sea Salt and Vanilla with Quartz. ‘Wanderlust’ Kakadu Plum with Jasper, and Neroli with Amethyst, and Mimosa Blossom and Tangerine with Amethyst. I’m sort of desperate to work my way through them! 

I’ve been lighting this candle to think about my mum, who was a big fan of candles and crystals also.

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi | £17.99 Amazon

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi review

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi review

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi review

During lockdown, cooking is one of the easily accessible pleasures we can still enjoy. And since spending a lot of time, money and effort renovating our kitchen it feels like we really should be making the most of having a functional oven and running water after entering the first lockdown without either! 

To me, the food of the middle East is really interesting. It's such a blend of Muslim, Jewish, Arab, Christian, Meditteranean and Armenian cuisine, with so many varied influences and flavours.  

There are some stunning recipes in this book, like the sea bream with harissa and rose, chicken with caramelized onion and cardamom rice and a clementine and almond syrup cake that I really want to try. 

The Mr and I have said we’re going to go all out each weekend in lockdown and cook up a storm, so I can’t wait for that.

‘Wanna Disco? Typographic Print | £65.00 Oliver Bonas

Oliver Bonas ‘Wanna Disco? Typographic Print review

One feature of lockdown life for us has been the kitchen disco. If you’re feeling a little blue, there’s nothing better than getting Alexa to blast out some Bowie or Tame Impala and throw some shapes with the kids around the kitchen island! 

After all, that’s the closest we’re getting to going ‘out out’ for quite a while. So this little sign has been cheering me up hugely. There’s something about the gold sparkly letters that puts a smile on my face. 

I’ve hung it in up with my little Biba cocktail making set and it's a corner of cheer in the house each day.

Bloom and Wild ‘The Jules’ Bouquet | £24.00

Bloom and Wild ‘The Jules’ Bouquet review

What better luxury than fresh flowers? I’ve started making sure the house always has some kind of seasonal blooms because they just add so much to a space. 

This bouquet features tastefully tonal butterfly carnations, alstroemeria, limonium,  and aromatic rosemary. The mix of tall structural foliage and soft, fluffy looking blooms in shades of pink and violet are just too pretty for words. 

I love Bloom and Wild because their selections are always just right, they come cleverly packaged to fit through your letterbox (so you don’t have to wait in for a delivery...not that anyone is going anywhere at the moment!) and they come with a step-by-step guide to arranging them properly to get the best out of them. 

Simple, natural and stunning.

Those are my suggestions for adding a little touch of luxury to the month. What are your favourite treats when it's cold and grey outside?

1 comment

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