Happiness & Hope ... This Way Please
That’s it, the tree is up, the cards are written (well sort of, if anyone can read them? Is lockdown-hand-writing-itis a thing?) the turkey ordered (v. last slot bagsied and I’m not even kidding) the ‘Limited Edition’ G&T After Eights have already been polished off and dare I even type this, is hope finally on the horizon? … if so, pull up a chair ... ice and a slice with that?
Talking of hope, I sincerely hope this final newsletter of the year finds you and your loved ones safe and well – what a year! As I waited for the kettle to boil this morning for my T .. .without the G, I was reflecting on my own ‘lockdown learnings’ seeking out the positives in a year we could never have prepared for or imagined. We’ve managed to adapt, pivot, support our communities and comfort one another using all the tools available to us, finding joy in the simple things sometimes overlooked in our haste to just stuff stuff done. Whether we’ve liked it or not, a forced pause has given us time to think about our own wellbeing and how we choose to live our lives and now, there is hope, hope in the form of a vaccine to enable us to get back on track, albeit it might be a slightly different track to the one we were on at the beginning of this year?
Back to the reason for the season, if you haven’t quite finished your festive prep yet, pop in another chocolate orange slice, worry ye not, it will all come together - it always does one way or another remember. I for one am almost there (famous last words?) so tonight I will be donning my sparkly jumper and finest slippers and raising a glass to everyone who has gone above and beyond to keep us all protected, connected, fed and watered (gin or otherwise) this year, thank you thank you thank you. I also want to thank you lovely lot for sticking with me, even when I’ve been unable to do what I love doing best, your continued support and encouragement really has kept me motivated to just hang on in there, so yes, excuse me for a moment while I have a few more sips ... thank you xx
If you're sitting comfortably, I thought I’d also share my top recommends for this month too, so here goes:
1. BOOK: drum roll please … my book of the year (ok, so truthfully, I’ve only read two books this whole year shhh ... and I haven’t even finished it yet, BUT it’s soooo beautifully written) goes to ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ – if you don’t have a local bookshop – support another local one by ordering it here https://uk.bookshop.org Holly Tucker interviewed the brains behind this brilliant concept Andy Hunter in her ‘Conversations of Inspiration Podcast Series’ – a positive lockdown story worth a listen if you like your books: https://holly.co/podcast/andy-hunter/
2. FILMS: ‘The Notebook’ (Gorgeous film, might need a tissue) & ‘Serendipity’ – this has been described as a festive romantic watch – it’s on my list for next week: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Serendipity-John-Cusack/dp/B00FFJ6EI8
I’m also looking forward to the new Pixar ‘Soul’ film too which comes out on Christmas Eve, if I can figure out how to get access to Disney+ that is?
3. SLOE & DELICIOUS: Yup, I’m talking ‘Sloe Gin’ – while we might not be able to go out out (again) right now that’s no excuse not to zhuzh up your Christmas Eve tipple - why not add a measure of sloe gin to your glass of Prosecco to give it that festive flavour – I used Hayman’s Sloe Gin but you can use whatever you like – just to keep things balanced .. you know me ... this is the easiest home-made cranberry sauce EVER – I’ve now popped mine in the freezer .. tick. If it’s good enough for the Good Housekeeping team, it’s good enough for me https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/christmas/christmas-recipes/a34713416/cranberry-sloe-gin-sauce/
4. BEAUTY SLEEP: This year has been a bit overwhelming at times to say the least, for me personally a good bedtime routine plays a huge role in how well I sleep. This year, I’ve loved using Sofia Latif’s award winning eye oil with organic chamomile, sweet orange and wild carrot seed which prepares both your eyes and your mind for rest https://sofialatif.com and Ermana ‘Renew Face Oil’ with neroli and ylang ylang … just rubbing it in your hands and breathing in the scent before bed is heavenly in itself https://www.ermana.co.uk .. plus water / a herbal and a good book obviously.
5. Last but not least SIMPLE THINGS: My monthly Simple Things Magazine (thanks to mum and dad buying the subscription for me) has been a wonderful monthly escape, keeping me focussed on the simple things – things within my control, things and people to be grateful for and where to focus my energy – well done to the whole team for continuing to publish this lovely read during tough times, keep up the great work https://www.thesimplethings.com
What's New at Gin & Yin HQ??
This month, I hosted another fun virtual ‘Sip-in; Draw-in & Craft-in’ session this time collaborating with the lovely China from @artistand.co and Alex from @haymansgin – I've loved sending out my wee parcels of loveliness to people up and down the country (see photo above) - During this session we made some gorgeous little festive cards and tags worthy of gifting, so bravo to us – who says we can’t have fun and stay connected without evening leaving the house. More virtual 'Stay @ Home' dates below. I must also give a big shout out two great organisations: The Inspiration Space and Enterprise Nation – even though we haven’t been able to meet up in person this year, you've both kept your online support and encouragement for small businesses over flowing, which has been much appreciated. Cheers guys, thanks for being there.
So, What's Next Online ...
The Perfect Tonic for 2021
A Positive Vision Boarding Virtual Workshop
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Weds 20th Jan 2021
Via Zoom - 7pm for 90 mins
What a year it has been - why not start 2021 with a clean sheet and join us on this interactive vision boarding 90 min workshop.
Everything you'll need will be posted / delivered to you - We'll start by making a delicious cocktail / mocktail, before moving onto a hands on guided vision boarding exercise with Lara Doherty, Founder of the Motivational Clinic.
At the end of the session, we'll have a clearer idea of what we'd like to focus our energy on in 2021, being mindful of life's curveballs. This will be a lovely creative visual start to what we hope will be an amazing year for us all.
What's Included: Each ‘Stay @ Home’ box will contain all the nec. ingredients for a cocktail / mocktail, some edible and self-care treats as well as motivational stickers and stationery to create your own personal mini vision board with Lara's expert guidance.
What's the Cost: £28.00
Sip, Sketch & Paint
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Thurs 11th Feb 2021
Via Zoom – 7pm for 90 mins
Due to the wonderful feedback from November’s Sip & Sketch Virtual, Lynette Pizolu, Founder of The Art Class and I are at it again. It’s been well documented that activities like sketching and painting are not only relaxing and rewarding, but can also help lower our stress levels, leaving us feeling mentally clearer and calmer. Join us for a ‘beginner friendly’ experimental workshop with a few tips and tricks thrown in for good measure. No judgement, or masterpiece expectations here, only good creative fun.
What’s included? Each ‘Stay @ Home’ box will be posted / hand delivered prior to the event and will contain the ingredients for the cocktail / mocktail, some edible and self-care treats, plus a 'LIVE' beginner friendly experimental 'art tutorial' by Lynette.
What’s the Cost?
£28pp (without art supplies / watercolours) £35pp (with art supplies / watercolours)
Gin-gal all the way
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Struth Ruth, look at the clock better get a wiggle on, wishing you all a healthy, happy and fuss free Christmas in whatever bubble we find ourselves in - hopefully with bubbles in it … in the fizzy form I mean, before anyone sends the people-police round to
Gin & Yin HQ.
Oh and yes, while I haven't mentioned forthcoming retreats on this one, they are very much still on (at the moment at least anyway). Only 1 room left for Italy in May, but good availability for Shanti Som, Marbella in June and N. Ibiza in September - full details are on my website under the 'Retreats' tab, it would be wonderful to welcome you, goodness only knows we could do with a Retreat to look forward to in 2021. For now though, keep safe, snuggle up and share your gins - see you on the other side.
Gin & Yin Retreats