This post was sponsored by My Made In Box, and I received product to review. All thoughts my own.
I feel like I talk about the weather a lot on this blog. In fact I think it’s the biggest giveaway that I’m British. When thinking of a way in to whatever topic I want to write about I often lean towards weather, because it dictates a lot of what I’m thinking, feeling, wearing and doing (aka will I leave the house today or is it too cold?). This year it became an even more prominent theme in my life as the cold months seemed to drag on and on, but it seems the spell has finally been broken, and I’m feeling more joyous than I have in a long time.
In fact this week I had a pure moment of joy: I got back in the pool. While swimming 2k when you’ve had a little break was tough on my arms, it was the feeling on the way back that got to me. I walked home with no make up on, wet hair, the sun on my face, and I felt happy in the simplest way. Old memories of summers past, and the things I love, flooded in.
I love sitting in the sun and reading, I love a good veggie sausage on the barbeque, I love the abundance of colour everywhere. One hot July whilst sitting in their garden the father of an old friend of mine, an artist himself, told me he thought green must be God’s favourite colour, because there are so many shades of green in nature. I’m sure that regardless of your beliefs you can understand the sentiment. Summer is a beautiful time, the haziness of hot days and the sun dipping low late at night. The pink skies and blue seas. It’s a little bit magical.
How fitting that the theme for the most recent My Made In Box, a bi-monthly subscription box filled with sustainable treats from small makers, is Spain, a place I used to spend many a lazy summer. My parents bought a little villa in Spain (they saved up for years to buy it) in 2005; much of my teenage life I shuffled from reading on the veranda to dipping in the small pool, visiting the local waterfall walk and occasionally heading to the theme park if I could convince my parents. It was so long ago that I’d insist on being taken to a local internet cafe in town once a week to keep in touch with my friends, and the last Harry Potter book hadn’t even been published yet. It didn’t have the grandeur of say, the house in Call Me By Your Name, but it did have a strong connection to that summer sense of sun and siestas, books and swimming, listening to old music on repeat.
This box provided not only a pleasant trip down memory lane, but also a reminder of what is actually good about summer. Going outside, and not living on this laptop every day. I have plans in place for how this summer is going to look different, but I’m not quite ready to share them yet. Until then, let’s enjoy the summery goodness of My Made In Box’s latest addition, showcasing the talents of diverse artisans from Spain.
So what’s inside?
Reina Calendula Gentle Exfoliating Soap
Run by a woman named Irene, Reina Calendula is a natural & handmade skincare range that is 100% made in Spain. The business began as Irene began to make soap for herself and her family. Over time people started asking her to make more so they could buy them, and a business grew from there. This soap is jam packed with natural and organic ingredients including olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil and rosemary essential oil, as well as turmeric and poppy seed, to both nourish and revive skin. Use this once a week to help the skin’s natural renewal process and ease blood circulation. To use, cleanse your skin with a natural soap and then scrub your whole body with the exfoliating soap to leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed. On top of its beauty benefits this soap has a beautifully light and fresh scent which is absolutely perfect for summer.
CatandCloud Tropical Coin Purse
Made from vegan leather and printed with eco-friendly inks, this tropical purse is perfect for stashing coins and cards when you’re travelling light. It’s hand sewn in Gijón by Barbara, founder, creative, and one woman wonder behind CatandCloud. I have actually found this coin purse incredibly helpful as I use an eco friendly wallet which is easier to carry, but can become a bit of a hassle if I have too many coins bulking it out. I now have a new system where I keep my wallet in my pocket and stash extra coins in this purse which can easily fit into a bag. So much easier, and I find the two go together quite nicely together with the shared tropical aesthetic. It’s a beautiful little pop of colour that makes me smile whenever I reach for a coin or two.
Annie’s Fingers Frida Brooch
Annie’s Fingers is a small business based in Granada, creating original illustrations and turning them into products that are then manufactured in Spain by local small businesses. This digital Frida Kahlo illustration was transformed into a pin by a small, one woman run badge factory in Granada, and dang does it look cool. As a lover of art I can’t think of anything better than giving a nod to Frida Kahlo in my outfits, a woman who I consider to be both an incredible artist and an incredibly important figure. From her artistic merit, her overcoming of pain and her rejection of societal norms of the time, I think there’s no one better than Frida to give us all some inspiration in the world we’re currently living in.
LAVS Jewels Geometrical Mint Dotted Necklace
LAVS jewellery is a line created by Laura Sabatés and Eric Castro, who love to incorporate modernity and minimalism into their designs through the use of geometric shapes and line. Inspired by the art deco movement, this brass necklace is hand painted in their workshop in Barcelona. It’s delicately minimal, modern and statement all in one. I wore it to a wedding combined with my French bracelet from the spring box; not only do they make a great combination but they’re perfect jewellery for hot weather, being so dainty and light that you don’t feel flustered, weighed down or uncomfortable in the heat. Statement, but simple, and the colours are beautiful.
Limona Lisa Lip Balm
This dreamy lip balm is made with organic shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil, alongside calendula extract and vitamin e oil for extra soothing and regenerative properties. It has a very mild scent and an almost neutral flavour, and it feels extremely light on the lips, all of which are perfect for hot days when you don’t want to feel weighed down under product. It’s essential oil free and both softening and protective, and can also be used to care for other areas such as cuticles. It also comes in this sweet macaroon container, which can definitely be repurposed as a little on the go supply of other products in future (for example a little coconut oil, or perhaps make your own lip scrub). Note, if you’re vegan this product does contain beeswax.
Whilst I may not be headed to Spain myself this summer it’s lovely to both relive this time, and to support small Spanish creatives producing such an interesting variety of items. Each piece carries a sense of vitality and colour whilst remaining effortless and easy to use even in the height of summer. They’re useful, they’re beautiful, and they’re small treats that are perfectly suited to the coming months.
Photos by Nonki Azariah