The Monthly Edit No. 1 | May | A vibrant summer, preloved Celine and spinach

I’ve been thinking of my Weekly Reads series lately – which by the way I discontinued a couple of years ago – and honestly I’ve been missing it. I’ve been missing writing regularly. While long form posts are great, they do take a lot of time and focus – two things that seem to elude me lately. So I am thinking of bringing back the format but at a more sustainable pace.

I am, therefore, very excited to introduce The Monthly Edit. A monthly blog post where I share some of the things happening in my life, or the thoughts running through my head as a thirty something years old. I will be sharing everything from work thoughts, what I recently shopped, wore, read, saw, and any other tidbits that make my life easier, healthier or more fun.

My intention for this summer

Before we dive in, I want to start talking about my intention for summer. I came across this blog post on The Magpie where Jen talks about her intention for summer being “going easy, and being filled with light”, and it made me think about mine. I’m dreaming of an active summer. Ever since the pandemic, I’ve felt I lacked in energy and motivation to do and to create things. And while some of it is on the physical level – it’s truly difficult to do it all, and especially given the energy expenditure on the mundane. After being done with work, chores and the likes – there is little left in me for more. So I do acknowledge that. However, there is also a big mindset component as well. Or perhaps just my perception.

Especially as the years pass, I have a fear of stagnating. And I don’t mean it in the career progression sense, but in the sense of the self. So I want to make sure I keep growing and I keep building myself – my interests, passions, thoughts, opinions and overall depth of character. I want to push my boundaries more so I can become the fullest and most vibrant version of myself. And I do have the conflict between being and doing. Yes, we’ve been conditioned to keep busy as a way of proving ourselves into existence, bringing value to the world and not being a burden on society. So I am aware of that fight. But right now I need more. How else am I supposed to build a full, rich life if not by doing more, saying yes more often and putting myself out there?

So whats my intention for this summer?

A bit of a rant really, but my plan for this summer is to recover my vitality. To seek a vibrant life. I want to explore, read, run, research topics of interest, plan for the future, try out new things, nurture diverse interests, move and overall stretch myself thin (within reason of course). I want to use this energy burst from Mother Nature that comes with spring and summer and pursue a vibrant life. Your turn now. What’s your intention for this summer?

Work thoughts

Have you made use of your learning budget this year? If not, it’s time to make a move and not let that budget untouched. For reference I don’t have a specific learning budget assigned each year, but it’s done on a per-request basis. I just requested attendance to a conference and made my case for it. I do like to take advantage of most of our learning offerings as long as I can fit it into my schedule, so I am usually also participating in any learning events organised by our mother company. Just last week I attended a full day tech conference and I also just started an online course over sum. Bottom line is, just request the book, course, conference, certification, etc… regardless of whether you have an actual learning budget or not and be ready to push for your case.

Work and productivity tools. I have one recommendation for productivity tools, and that is Arc, my favourite browser. I am sure you must have heard of it recently, as it’s all the hype. I’ve been using it for almost a year already and I am not going back. I need a million tabs open at all times because I only work in my browser. What I love the most is the way they do tab folders, which is perfect for my needs. You can also have different profiles/spaces with different passwords – think a more personal space (reasonably though) on your work computer or vice versa – which makes it super easy to manage things. Definitely a must!

Things I’ve recently bought

New sports clothes. Nowadays I mix it up when it comes to exercising. During the week I go to my gym, on the weekends I workout at the mr’s gym (as his +1), on office days I use the office gym, and I also make it to the yoga and pilates studio nearby whenever I can squeeze in a class. With all of the going around, I wanted to refresh a few items. My current workout leggings are Lululemon, but honestly the quality does not always justify the price tag. So instead I grabbed this ShapeMove pair from H&M Move which I adore. I also got this running pair, thinking I want to get back into running now that the city is green and the weather is nice. To round it up, I also threw in a new sports bra with medium support and a t-shirt. H&M has probably been my most worn sports wear brand in the last 10 years and I keep coming back to them because they’re affordable and their items last.

Ready for summer. I’ve been looking to upgrade my eyewear for the past few weeks and after trying dozens of sunglasses, I settled on the Celine Triomphe 04. The price tag is pretty steep in the store, so I decided to take a look on Vinted and see if I got lucky. And lucky I got indeed! I found them in pristine condition for about half the price and I cannot believe my luck nor contain my excitement. I am so proud of myself once again for turning to the preloved market! My other trusty pair of sunglasses are the RayBan hexagonal ones which I got a couple of years ago and still love. 

Something on my wishlist

On my wishlist for summer. I do have a bit of a splurge item on my wishlist and that is a Lowe basket bag. After trying it out in the shop, I think I love the Anagram version the most. Although the palm leaf basket is also a perfect summer bag. I nearly pulled the trigger on this one a dozen times in the past few years. The fact that it’s made out of palm leaves really makes me question the durability of this bag, especially given the price tag and while I could get a very similar version at the weekend market for 40 euros.

What I’m reading

What I’m currently reading. I am a little behind with my reading goal this year. On top of that I’m in between two books and neither of them has truly captivated me yet. I am reading Murakami’s “Norwegian Wood” as part of my Japan-inspired readings. However, I have not progressed too much with it yet because I just couldn’t get into it. I am hoping I will manage to finish it at some point though. Given I was not into my previous read too much, and I saw “Women who run with the wolves” recommended in a few places and decided to give it a try too. I’m only about 15% in and I’ll admit it’s a bit of a difficult read. It deconstructs myths, folk tales and the likes of the wild woman archetype. So far, I have to say it’s a little tedious and repetitive here and there.

What is on my reading list next. “How to know a person” is probably next on my non-fiction reading list. I am also on the lookout for some easy, breezy summer reads, and so far have “The Hotel Nantucket” on my list. If you have any recommendations, do let me know in the comments.

Need a good book for summer? I truly beg you to read “Circe” by Madeleine Miller. It’s a beautiful book, with a strong feminist lens and an incredibly well built character arc. I loved reading it a few years ago and it’s one of my most favourite books. I am even thinking of re-reading it this summer if I am not able to decide on a new summer read.

What I’m watching

I am currently obsessed with Jeremy Clarkson’s Farm Season 3 on Amazon. It’s the best show on earth. So wholesome, I just love it. It’s not your usual genre of TV shows, but it’s so heart warming, fun and so worth watching. The real life Yellowstone but without the killing and the crazy stuff. The Mr and I love watching it on weekend mornings with our first coffees. Aside from that, I am also planning to watch “Bridgerton” Season 3 soon. The previous seasons kept me entertained and I love the vibrant, spring and summer vibes it brings.

What else?

Spinach. Yes, spinach. I am currently trying to incorporate more greens – aside from the usual lettuce-tomato-cucumber salads I do – and I’ve settled on spinach. The way I prefer it is sautéed – just in the pan, with olive oil, salt and pepper – and I add it to everything. It works great with my eggs in the morning or as a side to basic chicken and quinoa for lunch or dinner.

Baby oil. I’ve been noticing my skin getting drier and drier as of late, and honestly I can’t catch up with applying body lotion every time I step out of the shower. It’s just what it is. I also don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier, but I’m back to applying baby oil directly in the shower on wet/damp skin. I did not fuss over it and I just picked up a baby oil from my local drugstore and I’m amazed at how convenient it is. I’m converted for the foreseeable future.

Favourite scent currently. I am currently loving Jo Malone’s Peony & Blush Suede scent. The Mr gifted me their Colognes Collection set for my birthday and I’ve been loving trying them out. Bonus points for the gift since they work great for travelling – each is only 9ml – and have accompanied me in my recent trips to both Japan and Paris.

The End

Okay, writing this was fun, so you can expect it to become a monthly thing. I am not sure yet if it’s going to come out at the start or the end of the month, or perhaps in the middle? But anyways, as I figure it out, I hope you enjoy reading this. And do let me know, what are you into nowadays or what brings you joy? And don’t forget to share your intention for this summer. I’d love to get inspired!

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