Sadly this month the first thing I start and end the day with is the scroll through the news. With the growing sense of sadness, helplessness and disbelief I try (and often fail) to find some semblance of joy on a daily basis. Mercifully (and luckily for me!) my children, meditation, talking (and listening), exercise and books help me put one foot in front of another and so far not go insane. With that in mind I thought I would share a few things in “March Newness” that helped make this month (that I normally adore for its truly uplifting beauty, from flowers to unmistakably happy birdsong and bright sunshine), just a little bit brighter at the time when the world and life of many is enveloped in the darkest of tragedies.
March Newness Book: “Natural Wellness Every Day: The Weleda Way. Activate your wellbeing from within” by Emine Rushton
According to Weleda’s team it “has taken one hundred years for us to write this book”. But gentle humour aside, the brand chose journalist Emine Rushton to share their narrative with a wider community. From the Weleda story (for those of you who might have not heard of this German brand – its one of the original and true pioneers of green, holistic and certified beauty, which focusses and draws wisdom from both nature and its seasonality. The book is divided into five chapters, covering Weleda’s story, Nature Care, Healthcare, Skincare & Self-Care. With modern lifestyle and advances, we live in busy cities, move less, eat food we didn’t grow, don’t go to bed as the sun sets outside and so feel less and less connected to something that is so vital to our individual thriving – nature. Just as Weleda sees a garden as a finely tuned, self-regulating system, our bodies are considered in exactly the same way – the invaluable sum of individual parts. Pick up a copy of this book and at your own space learn about individual plants, biodynamic calendar, lifestyle influences for optimal individual wellness and best ways to look after yourself, your body and skin. With all those individual parts you will not only feel more grounded and better in yourself, you will be better equipped to look after those you love or care for.
March Newness Face Care: PAI Curtain Call Rosehip & Strawberry Leaf Brightening Mask, 75ml
With interrupted & disturbed sleep, I not only noticed the negative impact on my overall mood and daily energy, but in my skin that feels as tired, as I do internally. The mask was recommended to me by a member of Pai skincare team (you know who you are!), while we were discussing brand’s products, but I didn’t know that it would arrive by post just before the dark clouds ominously started gathering pace above the heads.
This Rosehip fuelled rescuer ( I have adored Rosehip tea since my childhood, at the time simply enjoying its sweet taste with the slight sour undertones). It’s only later I learnt about its multiple benefits for body and skin due to high concentration of Vitamin C that helps to improve the appearance of tired and lacklustre skin. Expect the skin to look happier, brighter and more radiant over time. In as little as ten minutes, but of course you can keep it on for longer. The mask is boxed together with its ‘twin’, an organic Flyer Muslin double-sided Cloth. With a slightly rougher one side, it also has a softer, terry side which gives the skin a gentler, more tender caress once you wash the mask off your face. And using it on the skin feels exactly like a caress, comforting & reassuring on the primal, touch level.
Curtain Call is a primarily brightening mask that helps to illuminate the skin, however it also humbly offers nourishing and moisturising properties that benefit the skin ( and according to a trusted Pai source also works well with the Resurrection Girl Mask that I also recently reviewed). The mask has a subtle yellow colour, but almost as soon as you apply it to the skin (take care to avoid the eye area and don’t use if you have nut allergies, as the mask contains nut oil!) it sinks in without a trace. Ten or so minutes later, just wash your face off with the help of the ‘soft’ side of the Pai muslin cloth – then you have two options – to go out or get ready for bedtime, in which case instead of make-up, apply your usual night-time serum, moisturiser or face oil to the skin.
March Newness visuals: Anna Wright Cards
While walking recently in Windsor Park, I popped into a shop that’s located next to one of the large car parks and my eyes were drawn to this cheeky squirrel card straight away. The card (of which there were many) was created by the talented illustrator Anna Wright, who draws animals and birds. Anna uses pen, ink, found fabric and feathers when creating the illustrations and her gentle sense of humour underpins many of her works. The shop is also one of those wondrous places where you can find many curiosities and things for your own home or draw gifting inspiration. There is food, toys, ceramics, books, curiosities, cosmetics, scarves, plants and so much more. A store that offers a beautiful curation that lifts the spirits even when you walk away empty-handed.
March Newness Soulfulness: Emma Cannon’s You Are The Medicine Cards
I have known acupuncturist, fertility specialist & author Emma Cannon for many years. From the moment we met, I felt the inner affinity with Emma. Conversations of any kind with her were easy flowing and her combination of loving life, yet being very internally calm is hard not to admire. During the pandemic Emma bravely shared her own battle with the cancer, but did it with the aim of helping others to draw strength during the most difficult times. We Are The Medicine cards were born during lockdown and even though for the time being the first run of the cards is limited to only 200 sets, I urge you to get your hands on a deck. It’s hard to explain the significance of something to someone in words sometimes unless the person experiences it him or herself. For me the unseen power of those cards is in the energy that I felt as soon as I took the deck out of the cotton bag, that houses it, and laid my hands on them. My fingers tingled and during the Zoom group session with Emma about the cards, I drew out the same card… twice. It’s significance on the day and at the time it happened only reinforced my sentiments about the true vocation of any human being in possession of those cards. Connect with them, sit with them and get back in touch with your inner guide and compass. Modern life often makes us feel disconnected from what sustains us, the path we need to take and the people we need to surround ourselves with. Emma’s cards allow us to sit in silence, to listen to our inner voice and to hopefully make better decisions as the result of that process of soul-searching.
According to Emma “the cards were created with no expectation to fix anyone; medicine women know that they are not broken. My hope and wish for them is that they fall into the right hands into the right time and spark curiosity and fascination. That as you share your stories, others will be encouraged to share theirs and find their medicine”.
March Newness craft: Carina Seth Andersson & Arket collaboration
Swedish designer Carina Seth Andersson has made it her mission to create and craft utility items with perfectly balanced proportions. She first collaborated with Arket in 2017, but in time for spring this year she revisited some of the pieces, alongside launching some new, original designs. I have a small obsession with cups and when I laid my eyes on this cup and saucer in the Regent street store, my hands lifted one up and took it straight to the till.
Combining Swedish minimalism & traditional Japanese craft, the simplicity of the design somehow offers comfort to me – when looking at it or am using it. I drink tea, coffee and hot chocolate from it and unlike many other of my cups and mugs, I somehow feel some of the stress sipping out of me when I take mindful sips of whatever I poured into it. The cup itself is not large and there is comfort in that too – I can easily call it my “meditation cup” now. Whether Carina had that in mind or its my own internal response to the design is an open question.
March Newness Wellbeing: Activist X Beauty Heroes Beauty Box (March)
I am not going to spotlight the box itself for you, as there are plenty of Beauty Heroes ambassadors doing that wonderfully well on Instagram, so I would direct your attention to them. But it was quite unusual and somewhat forward thinking of Jeannie, Beauty Heroes founder, to introduce her community to a trio of products that are centred around the goodness of New Zealand Manuka honey. Luke and Gabrielle, founders of ACTIVIST Manuka, recently participated in an insightful Instagram with Jeannie. The conversation was focussed on their work and Manuka honey. Together they also discussed in detail each of the three products from the March BH Beauty Box. I am still getting to know the mask and the face serum, but raw Manuka Activist Honey 100 arrived serendipitously when my daughter was in the midst of the nastiest colds she’s had in years. Her throat hurt, nose was congested, her cough rough and energy low. A teaspoon of honey a day was gratefully welcomed probably because it tasted SO GOOD, but honey, especially good quality one (please don’t buy very cheap versions of it, it will be just lots of sugar and no goodness) is something I highly recommend having in your medicinal and beauty cupboard. I have grown up with taking or using honey since the childhood and use it regularly to this day, both externally and internally. So this brand and trio of products are worth having on your radar – whether you want to enhance your health, nourish your skin or do both simultaneously.
March Newness Wellness: Wild Nutrition Vegan Protein + Superfood Blend
After doing a genetic test a few years ago, I started paying more attention to those areas that the test spotlighted that I can improve on. In my case protein was one of those areas. Dietary proteins provide amino acids for the synthesis of body proteins, active enzymes and other biologically important nitrogenous compounds. Did you know that high protein diets can be beneficial for overall weight management? Protein contributes to maintenance & growth in muscle mass (that we all start losing, as we age) and bones. By modulating your protein intake according to your genotype, you can help maintain optimal weight & support muscles.
According to Henrietta Norton, founder & formulator of Wild Nutrition, brand’s newest launch, Vegan Protein + Superfood Blend “is inspired by people navigating the twists & turns of everyday life. It’s an intelligent formulation, with vegan protein, super green & mushrooms working in harmony, to support you both physically and mentally throughout the day. Whatever your lifestyle, it’s simple to blend, drink & give your body the nutrients it needs, and the adaptogens that put a spring in your step – all in a completely natural way. This supplement is the antidote to modern life”.
The key benefits of this particular formula are listed as Energy (reduces tiredness), Focus (keeps the mind sharp & helps deal more effectively with stress), Immunity & Stamina. As I find solace in exercise that helps me shift the focus from daily news, even if for the duration of the training, I am also aware that a protein shake thirty or so minutes after exercise (something that Henrietta recommended during her recent Instagram Live with make-up artist Caroline Barnes) will give the body maximum benefit. That’s a really helpful tip that I now consciously implemented into my daily routine. This protein shake works particularly well in the afternoon or on days when you have a lot on your plate & might be inclined to skip a meal, simply because you are busy. Please don’t – have a protein shake instead, as it’s easy to make and tastes good too. It can also act as a reminder that therapeutic levels of nutrients will get to work once you blend, pour and drink this blend.
I have tasted & tested many protein powders over the years and find most of them too sweet – and I say that as someone who does prefer sweet taste to say sour – something that is also determined by our genes, by the way. This green shake has a Berry Flavour and while it does have some sweetness to it, sickeningly sweet it’s NOT. The balance of overall taste is just right – whether you simply blend it with your favourite type of milk or add half a banana to the blend as well.
When it comes to Protein Blend composition it lists Pea & Brown Rice plant-based proteins, organic greens that are full of phytonutrients and antioxidants (sadly often missed from over processed food many of us consume on a regular basis) including Chlorella, Wheatgrass, Spirulina and Barley Grass, as well as Adaptogenic Mushrooms (Reishi, Chaga, Shiitake, Tremella, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Mitake).
For me personally this has been one of the most balanced and delicious protein blends that I have recently tried, but I am also conscious of the fact that good quality supplements are becoming more expensive for a multitude of reasons. In this instance a 14-day supply of 350g costs £40. So maybe if you like this one, it’s worth subscribing via Wild Nutrition website in order to get a small discount on your regular supplement purchases.