January Favorites and what a versatile mix we have here. Family photo albums, stamps, and a stand-up show that will make you laugh and leave you wanting more. Ad information: No paid or sponsored content. Contains press samples and affiliate links marked with *. Let’s start with stamps, because I’ve already bored my friends and family enough with them and must turn to new victims. I will give you two good reasons why stamps (the ink kind, not the ones you stick on envelopes) need to become a part of your life, and the first reason is incredibly healthy.
Don’t you miss the fun little craft projects of your childhood? Do you remember spending hours coloring or cutting pieces of paper and then spreading them all over the floor and table, wondering why your mom always looked so… tired? Smart stuff was Great. We loved it and then we grew up and most of us just stopped. No time, no desire, no real need to create anything. What if I gave you something almost artistic and creative to do, that doesn’t really cause chaos and satisfies the urge to create something pretty with minimal effort? Stamps! They’re foolproof! Someone else has done the hard, artistic part; you just have to ink the thing and smack it on some paper, in the style of early humanity. Mindless, childish escapism and because someone with talent has created the stamp, it also makes you look and feel pretty successful by doing it. Want to try? Good: I’m now a stamp influencer. A stampfluencer.
But wait: I’m not just selling you the satisfying, highly therapeutic effect of ink stamping. That was just the first reason. What if – reason two – stamping could actually save you money? Think of all the note cards, birthday cards, and Funky Pigeon stuff you constantly spend money on, and imagine being able to just open your stamp box (yes, I made one) and print something beautiful and charming to send to your next beloved address? Or to the ever-changing classmates of your child who seem to have about eight birthdays a year? Each? Grab your Catherine Redgate stamp (special edition that gives the impression that every card is hand-illustrated, absolutely genius) and stamp it on a card (recycled paper for extra health points), then put the card in a brown envelope and you’re good to go. You can get custom stamps, beautiful stamps with your company logo, stamps for creating patterns (I printed my own Christmas wrapping paper after seeing The English Stamp Company do it on Instagram, which was the beginning of the whole thing) and there are dozens of them with pretty botanical and animal stamps to personalize your stationery or make greeting cards or whatever you fancy.
You can find the English Stamp website Here – they’ve given me a code for readers to get 10% off RUTHCRILLY10. From printing my own cards to printing my own family photo albums. Admittedly, I don’t do the actual printing, but even selecting the photos and getting them in the right order takes hours, so I’ll take the credit for these paper books. I’ve used paper a few times; I like that their photo books have a kind of matte finish that looks very chic and stylish. If you want shiny vibrancy and crazy Comic Sans subtitles (my mother), then maybe it’s too subtle for you, but I love the millennial vibe. Possibly because I’m almost a real millennial. (Born in 1980. Mention this fact repeatedly to make me feel more relevant and youthful.) Just be careful when selecting photos for these books – pay attention to good brightness. It’s very easy to be tempted to think photos look great because on a backlit screen everything looks nice and vibrant. other story in print. Turn the brightness of your screen to about 20% and think: does this image need a little more lift? Are there areas that just show different shades of black? I need to adjust some things. With my MentionMe link, you can get £10 off at Papier Here* – this is just the standard customer code that you get at checkout. So once you order yourself, you’ll get your own code to give to friends and family. Every little bit helps, etc. Anyway, I’ve been making a photo album every year since the birth of my first baby and I’m currently in the year 2019, so there’s a lot to catch up on. I’ve decided to keep the photos in a special phone album from now on to save myself the bulk of the sorting work. Honestly, it took hours per book! But it’s worth it. Next favorite: Completely free and I’m sure you’ll get excellent value for money: it’s comedian Jen Brister’s stand-up show. The Optimist. I had tickets last year to see it live but was sick and so I was overjoyed when Jen announced that she would be putting the televised version online. She’s wicked. In every way. I strongly recommend taking about an hour to watch it and laugh at her rants. She’s like a very sexy John Cleese when she starts to lose it… Jen Brister The Optimist. Lastly, here are some clear winners in the beauty department – things that immediately convinced me to tell you about them. First, The Inkey List’s Moisturizer enriched with Bio-Active Ceramides. An extremely nourishing, deeply moisturizing face cream that is rich yet completely non-greasy and helps repair the skin barrier. (Something most people need these days because they use every single acid and retinoid on the market simultaneously for six and a half days a week. That’s a problem.) Inkey List skips the frills and fancy packaging, but the cream itself is a silky, luxurious and refined product that costs less than £20. You can’t go wrong with that. Transfer it to a fancy glass jar if packaging is important to you! With Bio-Active Ceramide Moisturizer from Inkey* Finally, some hair heroes that work particularly well if you have hair that needs to be styled (or a hair length that looks more choppy and casual than silky and smooth) and doesn’t do well with heavy, extremely moisturizing products. First, the Cool Girl Wash and Rinse from Sam McKnight (online). This series takes care of the hair properly without weighing it down. If you like to wave or curl your hair and want to keep as much structure and volume as possible while still helping to repair and prevent damage, then this series is just right. Incidentally, the packaging is in the perfect pink tone. Meaningless to some, but I prefer the fact that it matches my bathroom tiles! Then there’s the Arkive Everyday range that’s just right for you. The conditioner is slightly – only slightly – heavier than that of Sam McKnight, but it still doesn’t weigh down the hair and makes everything feel soft and light and ready to style. You can find Arkive at Boots Here*. It’s sometimes offered in the 3 for 2 promotions, so it’s worth stocking up if you find it! Alright, I’m off to do some stamping. The paper is running out on me fast. So if you see me walking around with several cat tattoos on my arms, neck, and face, don’t be scared – I’ve just indulged in a different kind of ink.