More about joy + a bunch of wintery feel goods
When Katie and I hopped on our weekly call a few weeks back, we swapped ideas on what to talk about this holiday. To no surprise, we were aligned on the idea of JOY over resolutions, reviews, and the temptation to critique the catalog of moments from 2022.
At this point, my editor-mode is well tuned. So let’s hit pause on that button and flip a different switch. This season I want to tap into imagination: the dream-making, myth-making, “what if I dared to do that” thinking that subtly, or sometimes dramatically, changes everyday life. I want to celebrate the messy chaos of wondering outside the lines to explore something you’ve never done before. More on that shortly.
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Before we dive in, if you missed Katie’s last essay, Shine On, it’s a must read. This year, I’ve stood beside her in total awe of her power. What an honor to be her friend and witness such vulnerable, devastating, beautiful, resilient, and unforgettable transformation. My capacity to show up and to love has been changed forever. Thank you Katie for continuing to change my life for the better, I love you!!
Transformation is a word I’ve held close throughout 2022. As uncomfortable as it can be, this post hit my radar right on time:
THIS. THIS. THIS. Omg yes, JOY is an important ingredient of transformation. Nothing flips on my joy switch like letting go of tasks, emails, and deadlines (blahhhh) and instead, unapologetically feeding my imagination. Staying curious is my favorite muscle to flex. How does that show up?
Walk around my house and you’ll find watercolors gathering dust or a keyboard in the corner with music pages untouched. There are scraps of denim in my cabinet and a saved search for sewing machines on craigslist. I have hundreds and hundreds of screenshots, all snippets of designs, typography, outfits, places, spaces, people, art, and artifacts that made my heart skip a beat. It’s thoughts like, “I’m considering buying a canvas and oil paints, my walls are too white, what if I fill them with my art?” Or, “I want to start a new brand based on reworking secondhand clothes, so what if I cut up the denim and try to sew it back together?”
To some, this may sound like a pile of abandoned projects. It may sound like a manic mess of unorganized, untethered ideas that run me ‘round in circles. To me, this is the essence of imagination. This is the molten core of curiosity. Somewhere in the pace of our modern world, auto-pilot takes over and we get really good at zero-inbox, Pomodoro Timer type activities that remove imagination. Worse, we start to think imagination isn’t worth it (!?!?!?!?!?) unless we can produce something to wrap in a pretty bow of perfection. No to day-dreaming, yes to productivity. The world asking, “can you squeeze in another 15 min zoom call?” F*ck no.
We have to rage against this machine or risk hypnosis. My everyday rebellion is scattering objects of interest in my house. I can squeeze in 15 min to play that song on my dusty keyboard or dip my brush into a cup of water and explode color onto a white square. With every note, every dip, every cut-up scrap of blue cloth a small wave of joy ripples through me. It is contagious. You start to crave it. Some tight, hidden door unlocks and on the other side is play, laughter, and silliness.
Your list of curiosities may involve books, mushroom hunting, fact-finding, organizing a closet, collaging, roller skates, strumming a guitar, studying, writing a children’s book, testing a recipe or sitting in the sun. There are no rules and that is the point. MESS IT UP, get it wrong, begin again and again and again. Abandon it and return, or don’t. Good god, what an antidote to auto-pilot. Doesn’t that feel good?
How does this monologue have anything to do with the holidays? It doesn’t. Except that joy is the spirit of the hour. And, as you perhaps get a few more hours away from screens and to-do lists, as you take time to unwind 2022, consider setting aside the lists and instead indulge in some unfiltered, imperfect, totally satisfying, messy, joy-filled activity that fires up your curiosity. Maybe scatter objects of interest in close range and see if you reach for them more often. Even better, invite someone to join you.
To bring it home, I want to highlight how The Confidants Zine is a creative project that brings me so much joy. It’s a practice in channeling friendship, conversation, unedited creativity, and multi-medium inspiration while also letting go of all the temporary challenges that arrested my passion for the last 4 years. And, the best part? I get to do this thing with my best friend. And with you, too.
We’re only 5 issues into this adventure, but my curiosity gets a regular seat at the table. What a gift. Thanks for following along and enduring my need to write with many commas. Here’s to staying curious!
2022 High Notes
Friend Favs: The Wintery Feel Goods
Confidants is all about discovery, so as you might guess, we have a robust rotation of group texts and DMs to discuss any number of topics big or small. I love seeing the world through friends and recommendations are like a playlist- a curated experience that tells a story or evokes a mood, revealing some spark of personality too.
With the holidays in full swing and a blizzard dumping on our Midwest friends (stay warm Katie!), today’s edition is all about wintery feel goods to comfort or add to the magic of this cozy season. Enjoy!
Winter Skin CAN be Dewy, curated by Kristen Goodwin
Hi! I’m a friend of Katie and Lauren and seeker of a year round dewy complexion. My skin and skincare routine is a seasonal journey but the end goal, no matter the time of year, is a plump dewy complexion.
Superfood Facial Oil by Elemis - $59
My fav hydrating face oil, highly absorbent and doesn’t make me break out.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum by The Ordinary - $7.50
This time of year, skin is exposed to a tough mix of drying elements: the cold air outside and heaters/ fireplaces inside. This combo is tough on skin hydration levels, and skin needs extra support. This is the winter serum you need, it's very gentle, gives you visible plumping, and is less than $10.
Nutrient Mist by True Botanicals - $24
I used to think mists were a scam, this has changed my mind. I start my am and pm routines with this mist. I love it so much I have it on auto delivery. It's so soothing and hydrating and I have really seen an improvement in my overall skin hydration.
Moisture Lock Overnight Mask by True Botanicals - $75
This is a miracle product. You layer it over your normal nighttime facial skincare routine and it literally locks everything in. I use nightly during dryer months and it really has made a BIG difference in my skin hydration levels.
Moisturizing Moon Mask by Glossier - $24
This mask is something I've purchased and gifted many many times. It’s your instant glow hydration treatment. I reach for it whenever my skin needs an instant oomph. It's incredibly hydrating and results are immediate. PS I may or may not slather my face with this product when flying.
Dual-headed Facial Massager by Sephora - $22
Circulation is everything, this dual headed massager is fabulous for contouring and cooling. I love to start and end my day with a facial massage. I've absolutely noticed a difference in plumpness from increased product absorption. Also this tool is a godsend post heavy, salty holiday meals, helps with puffiness and increased facial contouring.
Quick note to say, we’re sending Meredith and her family so much love ❤️
Winter Must-Haves, curated by Meredith Fennessy
I am a lover of all things cozy and soft but also a sucker for a punch of pizazz and next-level scents.
I recently moved back to the east coast after nearly a decade of living in SF. As I cozy up to winter temps for the first time in a while, True Grace’s myco-renew and Chef Bai’s unreal tonic have kept me healthy.
Here are a few of my must-haves, especially in the winter:
Gold Oil by Monastery Made – $100 for 1oz or $159 for 2oz.
This is my all-time favorite serum. Luxurious and packed with botanicals, it is healing and moisturizing. Their entire line is magic and best for dry or sensitive skin, but this is their star. If you’re in SF, a facial with Athena at their studio in Noe is a must.
Maison Deodorant – $20
Maison is known for its candles and scents; their hidden gem: the deodorant. It’s the only natural deodorant that has worked for me, and the scent sends me back to my time living in Mexico.
This makes me feel like I’ve used the California Glow filter. With 20 shades to choose from, I recommend a trip to Credo or Sephora to find your match.
Dear Francis Coffee – $20/bag
A fun giftable item for coffee lovers from the masters behind my favorite SF coffee shop, Matching Half. They’re offering beans for delivery + a subscription delivery service. These guys know coffee, and I’m so excited to try it.
Arvesa Eye Mask - $11 for 30 pairs
This is probably my best Amazon find yet, and unlike so many on the market, these work. I’ve re-purchased them six times. They’re perfect as you’re getting ready to go out or to wind down. They also make me feel like I’m 21 again.
I always have a candle burning while I work. Come December, this cannot be beat. It is the scent of the season.
Like always, we love ending our notes with inspiration, so here are some of the people, places, messages, and musings that are inspiring us lately ✨
I discovered & sniffed this perfume two weeks ago - can’t stop thinking about it
Yes to this apres vibe
Hypnotized and mesmerized by this artist’s very satisfying creative process
All the 2023 wine trends on
Can’t wait to dive into Moonlists digital notebook
Podcast episode: Let It Out with Lord Cowboy
Shoutout to our friend Molly Goodson, an incredible writer, new mom, and the person who continues to supercharge connections between women here in the Bay Area. You're a legend Molly!
If you haven't read, check it out starting with her recent letter, Rearranging. Expect to cry, laugh, screenshot, and forward her words- something always hits center of the heart.
Thanks for being here! If you have friends who would love this, please send it on- we’re excited to expand this community. xoxo - Your Confidants, Fenny & Katie
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