January always feels like 72 years packed into 4 weeks, and whilst this has provided many hilarious tweets on my timeline, I’m actually kinda loving the slow pace. Yes, sometimes I’m like ‘okay can it stop being grey now? Can everyone and everything start to kick their asses into gear?’ but I know that as soon as we hit February, it’s only a matter of time before March comes round and once it’s my birthday (29th March, mark your calendars – I’m joking, sort of) it may as well be Christmas because time goes so damn fast!
Anyway, I was thinking about content and a way to nicely wrap up January differently to the usual monthly faves, and making it a bit more chatty like a newsletter, something where I could just collate good things and recommend stuff I wouldn’t usually rave about in a solo post (although I am actually going to do a post on my book recommendation for the month because WOW is it a goodun) and I’ve thrown in something else that I hope will set you up for a good February (and make you forget that January was so darn long)….
Let’s start with things I’ve done this month – the biggest thing is that I got a new car! My Corsa (Kevin) finally went to car heaven a few weeks ago which isn’t a great way to start January what with taxes and post-Christmas bank balance *weep*, and I found the period of time between scrapping him and getting Priscilla was really odd; I’m a confident driver when I know a route, but I did still get a bit tense in the fast lane because it felt like Kevin could sway at any moment, and he never felt great doing long-distance. I thought not having to drive would be fine but slowly I realised what a loss of freedom it is; not being able to drive somewhere on a whim or in your own leisurely time (and having to get the train to work which reminded me why Southern suck for delays, let alone transfer times) I wanted a car I’d feel safe in, was a bit newer, and would also be a long-term investment – so we went with Priscilla, she just looks like a Priscilla (also a Patricia so sorry if I switch names a bit, but she’s a fancy lady who deserves Priscilla) and she is a solid Ford Fiesta. I feel like I’m driving a spaceship and am actually an adult in a ‘Big Girl’ car, but I also feel so cushioned and safe that I’m kinda nervous/excited to tank it down the motorway (safely, if you’re reading this Mum) only because I feel I can drive safely long-distance for the first time since 2012. If that wasn’t enough also, she has an AUX cable, which means I don’t need to make mixtapes anymore – welcome to the 21st century Lauren.
January is when I like to read a lot of self-help books, but one read in particular got me pumped for the new year and focused on building my business for the better – The Working Woman’s Handbook, which is potentially one of my favourite reads ever. I want to do a post on my favourite sections and tips I’ve taken on board, but I’ll list a few reasons now to pick it up – 1) it has flow charts – flow charts!!! 2) it has practical business advice that’s written simple enough for anyone to grasp and execute when needed i.e. getting that pay rise and pitching, thank you! 3) it instills accountability, and I think that’s enough to make any creative think more about their long-term plans and finances in a positive ‘I’m going to thrive’ way. Get it, read it, utilise it.
Speaking of reading, I thought I’d share a few blog posts I’ve loved this month – Anna’s roundup of a month off blogging was a great read as I also love taking a step back and not engaging as much as I love posting, and she also gave me a little mentioned me the end which made me pull this face; with IGK hitting our isles in the coming days, the Queen of hair Zoe has a great run-down of products she’s tried and loved (I myself am dying to try the texture spray and thickening foam) so you know what to pop in your basket come launch day; my best best best gal Jaye wrote a very open and honest post about her health journey after being diagnosed and having surgery on a tumour last year, she’s a very strong lady and I implore you to read it; Megan’s pupdate was by far the cutest damn post I’ve read in forever, Peter and Nancy are one of my daily Instagram joys and I love watching their little ears fly everywhere! Whilst I don’t plan on getting a dog, the post was so well researched and written that I’d feel confident picking and buying a pup no questions! Also I’m tooting my own horn here but I really loved my Sephora Haul post and Skincare Oils post, mainly because the photography was some of my favourite and I also had such a lovely response from both posts, so thank you all!
Now getting Spotify Premium was the best decision ever as I can listen to all my new fave music on repeat and offline too, so here’s what I’ve been loving most this month – I’m digging Dua Lipa’s album so so much; Camila Cabello’s Havana is a tune and even though I’ve only listened once, her album is a banger; and Sigrid – Strangers, that chorus! Other songs on repeat: David Bowie – Golden Years, Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up, Haim (always), Yazoo – Only You
If you’ve got some pay day money left over, I’d like to suggest a few things to buy that are totally worth the pennies: first, IGK is coming (AHHHHH!) and as I said above I’m excited. I picked their dry shampoo up a few weeks ago and it’s already a staple – no white marks, great hold and absorption of oil, plus you can’t feel it in your hair so it’s super comfortable to have lurking for more days than is necessary…ahem. Second is the MUJI Diffuser which I got for Christmas and it’s one of my fave presents ever – my room is small and stuffy, so the added humidity plus eucalyptus keeps my nasal passages clear and the trickling water sounds send me right off to sleep (dreamy).
To finish, I wanted to share a little card reading for the month ahead – I’ve done card readings for year and they always help guide me along, and are a bit of fun too I think (the amount of cards that relate to my situation at the time of drawing and freak me out is about 9/10. Always).
For February, I pulled: King of Diamonds/Coins – Earth element, emotion and intuition; generosity, happiness found in nature or spirituality; the King symbolises building things and making deals, with the power to make or break people which may not lead to a lot of love but does earn respect. Project all your courage as your goals have been secured and are in motion, your course of action will harmonise what you want with what is possible, and make your moves with authority and trust in their actions without waiting for approval as the confidence will lead to more good things coming your way.
7 of Clubs/Wands (upside down) – Fire element, passion and creativity; vigilance, a struggle to stay ahead. Represents initiative, ambition, drive, and desire. This card generally shows someone who is always successful working their will in the world, is gifted and sets standards for the future. As it’s drawn upside down, this may represent a block in feeling worthy and confident in your work coming into the new month after a perhaps slow January, questioning how you stand out and how to move your work forward – the time for peak performance is now, even if feeling unprepared so throw yourself into work and keep creating as time and hard work pays off.
Ace of Clubs/Wands – strength, overcoming desire, building trust, courage; linking with the 7 of Wands, the Ace implores you to act now on an imminent opportunity, encouraging energetic energy towards activity. You may need to move quickly so be prepared, but trust your instincts and spontaneity and seize the opportunity.
Oh that does sound very exciting indeed, so let me know what you’ve got planned for February so far and let’s see if it comes true….laters January, at last!