From cooking to pampering, these small joys in the midst of a hard time have brought our team a lot of joy this week
How are you sparking joy while being at home? If you’re normally someone who thrives on the rat race, slowing down and retreating can be very tough. The little things that bring us comfort are more important than every these days, and we at IMAGE are trying to indulge in them as much as we can.
What brings you joy in the quiet moments? Here are some of our favourites.
A Rathbornes candle – Holly O’Neill, Junior Beauty Editor
Did you know that Rathbornes, founded in Dublin in 1488, is the world’s oldest candle company? I’ve been handling social isolation by lighting all the good candles
that I’ve been saving for “when guests come over” (candle scents go off you know! Light the fancy candle tonight!) which led to me finally lighting this Rathbornes Dublin Tea Rose, Oud & Patchouli dream candle. The soft, floral scent is so powerful that it can scent a room every day without even being lit, and lighting it now marks the end of my living room being a workspace and turns it back into a place to chill out.
A cookbook to liven up dinner time – Megan Burns, Staff Writer
Back in the first week of us all working from home, my boyfriend (who I’m sadly not self-isolating with) sent me a cookbook, and it’s been the best quarantine present. I’ve taken my enforced time in the house to try as many recipes from it as I can. Not only am I getting really delicious meals every night, but when we eventually go back to normal, I’m going to have so many new dinners to turn to. I would recommend a cookbook that doesn’t lean too fancy — you want this to feel like a treat, not a slog. I’m working with the aptly titled Nothing Fancy
by the queen that is Alison Roman, but however much effort you want to put in, now really is the best time to take a little extra time over your meals. Salmon in a soy and citrus glaze with charred spring onion on a Tuesday? Why the hell not?
The easy self-pampering of doing my nails – Erin Lindsay, Deputy Digital Editor
My self-care routine has definitely taken an upturn since the pandemic started, for the simple reason that I have so much time on my hands now. And I am using that time on my hands to make said hands look pretty. The art of doing your nails at home is one that is perfected by continuous practice – it takes patience, and methodical, repetitive actions. It’s pretty much perfect for meditation when you do it well. I guess that’s why I’ve taken to doing it so often now that I’m cooped up at home. An evening spent doing my nails, in as wild and jazzy a colour as I can find, is the smallest and most satisfactory way to spark joy.
A furry forever friend – Grace McGettigan, Homepage Editor
My border collie Kevin brings me joy in quarantine. He’s an almost-two-year-old rescue dog who wags his tail for anything and everything: his ball, a tummy rub, an ear scratch, leftover chicken. Kevin reminds me to appreciate the little things in life and to live each day in the moment. Why worry about what may happen tomorrow, when there are treats to be enjoyed right now?
Gardening on my balcony, acting digital editor, Katie Byrne
I’ve been testing the limits of my balcony garden in recent weeks by planting pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Potatoes, carrots, orchids, sweetpea, a couple of things I can’t pronounce — I don’t discriminate. Gardening is like a gift to your future self. Sow the seeds now and you’ll be treated to a burst of much-needed colour in the months ahead.
I planted some Cartouche tulip bulbs in a bucket back in November and they bloomed just as we went into lockdown. I reckon I’ve spent about six good hours marvelling at these cerise pink show-stoppers over the last week. The cut flowers (below) are so beautiful they almost look artificial. Lots of garden centres are still delivering — I’ve ordered from Mr Middleton and Newlands Garden Centre in recent weeks — and you really don’t need that much space to create a mini oasis.
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