The last time I sat down to write about my current favourites, it was beautifully sunny and a warm June breeze was streaming through my window.
Today, it is cold, gray and I find myself longing for that warm breeze. Granted, we had quite the heat wave last week in Southern Ontario. It reached 30 C a few times, and that heat coupled with the stunning fall foliage, was really quite something. I suppose I should be grateful for that and not so disappointed with Mother Nature today.
Each time I share my current favourites with you (for previous installments – No. 1, No. 2 & No. 3), I note the importance of making your favourite things apart of your everyday, or at the very least, a regular occurrence in your life. As I have mentioned before, our favourites are determined by what pleases our senses – specifically sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.
Favourite things not only please our senses, but they have a way of boosting one’s mood, one’s sense of well-being. For example, one of my favourite things to do is sleep in on Saturdays. I allow my body to wake naturally, rather than to an alarm, and then I luxuriate in that quiet time. I read the news, a current book, magazine and often scroll through my social media to see all that I may have missed out on during the week. It is a practice that I look forward to, it boosts my mood tremendously, and ultimately, is a practice that helps me to live well.
In the fourth installment of this series, I offer you a glimpse into a few of my current mood-boosting favourites, one to satiate each of the senses:
Westworld – HBO
I must admit, one of my favourite things about autumn is the influx of new television shows to enjoy. While my husband and I have been watching a few new shows, like Designated Survivour (ABC), Secrets and Lies (ABC), This is Us (NBC) and Divorce (HBO), one that has really intrigued me is Westworld.
Based on the 1973 film of the same name, Westworld takes place in a technologically advanced Western-themed amusement park populated by synthetic androids dubbed “Hosts”. This world caters to high-paying visitors, dubbed “Newcomers” or “Guests”, who can do whatever they wish within the amusement park, without fear of retaliation from the “Hosts”.
With a star-studded cast (Sir Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris and James Marsden to name a few), the series’ debut on HBO garnered the network’s highest viewership ratings for a premiere since the first episode of True Detective in 2014 (also a series I highly recommend starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson).
For me, the intrigue of this series is twofold. Firstly, and without giving too much away, the series brings up the highly controversial subject of artificial intelligence and what that means for the human race, as these beings become ever-increasingly “human”. Secondly, it also brings to light the social implications of a world “without consequence”, and the justification of those behaviours because they are being carried out on those deemed inhuman.
With each episode, I have become more intrigued and invested. If you enjoy a program that makes you think, then this one is for you!
Day Breaks – Nora Jones
Those of you that follow the blog will know my affinity for Nora Jones. I have been a fan of Miss Jones since her debut in 2002, and her music has been a part of several milestones in my life, most notably my wedding (my husband and I danced our first dance as husband and wife to Come Away with Me).
Well, Miss Jones has done it again with the release of her sixth studio album, Day Breaks. The album features nine new songs, three covers, and for me, is a welcome return to the piano-driven sounds of her earlier work.
With songs like Burn and Flipside, this album has been on heavy rotation in my home lately and will continue to be a favourite of mine for years to come. I highly recommend taking a listen.
If you follow my Instagram, then you will know how much I
am obsessed with enjoy tea. No matter the season, I tend to savour at least two cups daily, and am always searching for a new flavour or variety to add to my collection (much my husband’s chagrin).
I tend favour certain flavours during autumn and winter (i.e. chai, chocolate and ginger); however, lately I have been loving a flavour that is quite the opposite – Peach Tranquility from Teavana.
While I could try to explain the taste, I much prefer Teavana’s words:
Sweet peach and tropical pineapple are enhanced by the subtle herbal notes of chamomile and lemon verbena.
The blend of peach, chamomile and lemon verbena, coupled with apple and rose hips is simply delicious. The taste is incredibly smooth from start to finish and would also be nice as a tea latte.
- Heat fresh (preferably filtered) water to 205 F (96 C)
- Pour eight fl oz (237 ml) water over sachet in cup
- Steep for five minutes. Stay close to this time for optimal flavour
Add a cup of this to your favourite blanket, a good book and have yourself a lovely moment.
For me, scent is such an important part of my daily life. Whether it comes from the candle in my bedroom, or a pot on the stove, I always do my best to take a moment and appreciate the scents of life (well, the pleasant smelling ones at least).
Scents can be calming, invigorating or evoke memories and feelings – they are are such a lovely luxury.
Again, if you follow the blog, you will know my adoration for Jo Malone scents. In fact, I am slowly building a (small) collection of fragrances that speak to me. Throughout the spring and summer, I alternated between Nectarine Blossom & Honey and French Lime Blossom; however, with the arrival of cooler temperatures, I was itching for a scent that suited both my taste and the current season.
So, I made a trip to my local Jo Malone counter at Holt Renfrew, and while I could have gone home with their entire collection (maybe one day), I decided on Blackberry & Bay.
Again, while I could attempt to articulate the scent, Jo Malone pays someone quite a lot of money to do that for me:
Childhood memories of blackberry picking…a burst of deep, tart blackberry juice, blending with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods. Vibrant and verdant.
The deep, rich notes of this fragrance scream autumn and I have been enjoying a spritz or two every morning.
While I love summer, come October, I am ready to trade in my day dresses for cozy sweaters. When it comes to sweaters, I am quite particular about the style and fabric – I know, me particular – shocking!
I have always been quite sensitive to harsher fabrics, particularly heavy wool, and have also never been much of a fan of sweaters that are too bulky or thick, so when I found the Silk Cashmere Drapey Front Pullover from Banana Republic, I absolutely fell in love.
This luxuriously refined sweater is comprised of 85% silk and 15% cashmere, which for me, is the perfect blend. The classic crew neck (also available in a lovely crew cardigan) with long sleeves can be dressed up or down, and the neutral colour selection is beautiful – periwinkle, grey sky and preppy navy.
While I would love to have all three in my collection, I selected grey sky first, and am so glad I did, as it pairs beautifully with several pieces in my wardrobe.
Whether it’s a fragrance, a television show or a cozy sweater, I encourage you to make time to for your favourite things. Wishing you a lovely week and if you need me, I’ll be on the sofa with a cup of Peach Tranquility.