A Few Of My Favourite Things ~ No. 7

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, 
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, 
Brown paper packages tied up with strings, 
These are a few of my favourite things. 

The last time I shared my favourites with you, it was the final weekend of June, and I was desperate for summer to slow down.  Well, it would appear that Mother Nature did in fact hear my plea, because as I sit down to write today, it is a balmy 24° C here in southern Ontario.  While I know this unseasonably warm weather will inevitably give way to snow, I plan to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Speaking of enjoyment, since June, I have been thoroughly enjoying a few favourites, and thought it high time that I share them with you.  Without further ado, I give you a few of my favourite things:

The Wisdom of Sundays – Oprah Winfrey 

In her inspirational television series, Super Soul Sunday, Oprah introduces viewers to some of the world’s most influential thinkers and visionaries, all of whom offer insights into living one’s best life.

With so many profound thoughts and “ah ha” moments gained from these interviews, Oprah wanted to find a way to distill the very best of those conversations into note-form, and she has done so in her new book, The Wisdom of Sundays: Life Changing Insights From Super Soul Conversations.

As a long-time fan of Super Soul Sunday, I could not wait to get my hands on this collection of essays.  Organized into 10 chapters, The Wisdom of Sundays features insightful selections from some of the most meaningful conversations between Oprah and today’s most admired thought leaders and visionaries. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic, like mindfulness, ego, forgiveness, grace and gratitude.

While this book could be devoured in one or two sittings, I prefer to ingest it at a slower pace, reading one or two passages per day.  This pace affords me the opportunity to thoughtfully contemplate the message and consider how it resonates in my own life.

Paired with over 100 photographs, many from where the show is filmed, the book has been a welcome addition to my nightstand, and I’m sure it will be to yours as well.

I Know I Dream: The Orchestral Sessions – Stacey Kent 

Those that follow Pearls, Lace & Grace, will know how much I enjoy the music of Stacey Kent, and with over two million albums sold, a Grammy nomination and international recognition as one of the most successful jazz vocalists of all time, I suspect that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Just shy of two years since the release of her last album, Tenderly, Stacey graces us with I Know I Dream: The Orchestral Sessions.  Recorded with an orchestra of 60 musicians inside London’s Angel Studios, this album is Stacey’s first orchestral album in a career that spans more than 15 albums.

This meticulously-produced album features three songs in french (Les Amours Perdues, La Rua Madureira, and Avec Le Temps), as well as four new compositions and five covers of Brazilian classics like Carlos Jobim’s Photograph.

For me, it is the quiet grace of Stacey’s voice that speaks to me most.  She communicates such an intimate message through her music, and evokes such a sense of peace and contentment in me.  I listen to Stacey when I’m cooking or cleaning, when reading or painting, or when readying myself for the beginning or end of my day.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of Stacey’s, or just hearing of her for the first time, I highly recommend taking a listen.

Watercolours  

For years, I have valued and appreciated the fine arts, yet, have always been hesitant to try my hand at it.  Every so often, I would browse the course offerings at the local art school, and think it might be fun to try something like that.  Then, I would inevitably find a reason not to enrol.  Well, at least that was the pattern until this past September, when I threw caution to the wind, and enrolled in an introductory watercolour class.

Admittedly, after my first class, I wasn’t convinced that I was cut out for watercolours.  Working with pigment suspended in water is no easy task; however, the most difficult aspect of working with this medium for me, is learning how to embrace the unknown, because you can never truly predict how the paper will take the paint.  The challenge is finding the beauty in something, even if it is not how you envisioned it.

I had to laugh when I came to this realization, because it is the exact issue that I have often struggled with in my life – letting go.

While I continue to struggle with my perfectionistic tendencies, I am making great progress in learning how to enjoy the journey.  After a long day of work, I come home and sit at my desk, turn on some Stacey Kent (see above), and let the water flow where it wants to while the sun sets.  It has been incredibly therapeutic, and definitely a new favourite which I expect will be one for years to come.

Editor’s Note: For those interested, I am currently using Windsor Newton watercolour paints with Arches 140 lb cold pressed paper.   

Leaves – Bath and Body Works 

Now, you may be asking yourself if I could have found a more unoriginal favourite, given this is likely on every blogger’s fall favourites list; however, I simply could not share my current favourites without briefly acknowledging this delicious scent.

While I tend to prefer candles made by other brands, like Jo Malone, this candle implores me to make an annual trip to Bath and Body Works, where I typically pick up not one, but two three-wick candles, because of my irrational fear that they will sell out and I will have to whether autumn without it.

With notes of crisp red apple, golden nectar and warm clove spice, for me, Leaves is the quintessential autumn fragrance, one that I clearly cannot seem to live without.

Making your favourites apart of your everyday is essential to living well.  They pick you up when you’re feeling down, and encourage you to be more present in the moment when enjoying them.

What are some of your current favourites?  I would love to know in the comments below.

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2 Comments

  1. Greetings from Montana! I too am hoping snow staves off for a bit longer.

    I am enjoying brisk walks in the crisp morning air with my Rottie. Listening to the fountain from our koi pond over my morning cafe au lait and keeping an eye on the field behind our house for grazing deer and roving turkey.

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