Illustration by Meanz Chan
Editorial + Commercial Photographer
During times of uncertainty, I surrender to what I can do for myself, which is to take care of my mental and physical health by practicing my hobbies, interests, and spirituality.
I’m currently planning a small-space herb garden which allows me to use my creativity in a practical way. Watching my seeds grow into seedlings is teaching me patience and visualizing the recipes I want to make with the basil, parsley, rosemary, and sage brings me joy.
In other plant musings, I’m eyeing this planter for incoming plants featured in this local grab bag I recently ordered. I’ve also been brushing up on my basic plant care knowledge by watching and learning from Youtube videos. Summer Rayne Oakes and Planterina are both channels I’ve found very educational for caring for houseplants.
Lately, I’ve been cultivating more mental space for centering myself through writing and journaling. Putting pen to paper allows me to find clarity in my life experiences and helps me prioritize where I want to spend my energy moving forward.
I’m currently in a place where I’m super motivated to read - here are a few titles in my rotation:
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - This book is showing me a different perspective on my relationship with creating art and creativity in the best way (and why perfection doesn’t work.) I like getting to peek into a successful writer’s mind for important lessons in creativity.
- Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski Ph.D., Amelia Nagoski DMA - “Burnout” (extreme fatigue and mental/physical exhaustion due to stress) is something I’ve dealt with the last two years. Thankfully, I’ve made a lot of personal changes to lessen stress and give me free time so I can relax. I find this book very educational as it explains why burnout is specifically a huge issue with women today.
- How to Read Tarot: A Practical Guide by Fall River Press - I use tarot as a personal tool for inner guidance and while the readings I do for myself always resonate with me, I want to practice and improve my knowledge because I like giving my friends readings. This book is super educational about the history of tarot, symbolism in each card, reading for others and it also includes different spreads to practice with.
Focusing energy on hobbies I like helps me practice mindfulness. I’ve been taking classes on Skillshare and have enjoyed playing with my paints and learning about personal/lifestyle branding. Here are a couple of classes I’ve been taking lately:
Personal and Lifestyle Branding: Building Your Story
with Kate Arends of Wit & Delight
- How to Paint Abstract Tulips with Acrylic Paint with Elle Byers
Color Therapy: Stress Relief and Unwind with Watercolor
with Esther Nariyoshi
After 5 months of living in our apartment, we’re starting to make a plan for how we want our space to look. Personally, I’m a slow-and-steady decorator. I like living in my space a bit to explore decor options and then collect items piece-by-piece as my vision comes together. I’m obsessed with artist Maggie Stephenson’s bright, bold, feminine prints. I picked out “We Are Eve” and “Choose You” for the second bathroom. I also love artist Janet Hill’s feminine portraits. I own “Hummingbirds” and “Mystique.”
Photo above from the home of Janet Hill, painting within is Janet Hill's work.
Saturated jewel tones, Euphoria-inspired makeup, and 1970’s glamour icons have influenced me to embrace bold colors, patterns, and distinctive gold pieces. Here’s what else I’ve been inspired by this month. Speaking of the ’70s, I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration lately from this decade. I particularly love this look from Pat Cleveland and this look from Cher.
A few more pleasures:
- Anyone else catch the foreshadowing early in the first episode of HBO’s Insecure Season 4 premiere? I’m excited to see how this season turns out!
- This is one of my favorite albums to listen to while I cook in the kitchen. This playlist has been bringing me joy lately as well.
- These ice cream treats are so creamy, which can be a texture that’s hard to find with dairy-free ice cream.
- I’ve been keeping my skin clear with Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser (it smells so fresh!) and Herbivore’s Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil gives my skin a golden glow while keeping it moisturized.
View Cassandra's work at Instagram.com/CassandraMonroe