British Shows That Will Soothe Your Soul

Before I had children I could watch American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones without covering my eyes at every torturous scene. However, since then, I just don’t have the stomach for it. If a show leaves me with a bad feeling, I can’t sleep. Maybe I’ve become more empathic or sensitive over the years, but recently, I find myself craving something peaceful and romantic.

If you’re the same way, you may enjoy these soothing series:

  1. Grand Designs: (Netflix) Kevin McCloud visits home owners as they design and build their dream homes in the UK. The music alone is enough to lull you to sleep, but the amazing architecture, realistic home-builder-strife, and breathtaking scenery will keep you watching again and again.

2. Victoria: (Amazon/PBS Masterpiece Classics) Follow young Queen Victoria in this period drama of a young woman coming of age and nobility. Her love story will leave you aching for more, while her struggle with pregnancies and motherhood will have you sighing, “I feel ya, girl.” While I’m a huge fan of Netflix’s The Crown, I much prefer the characters, costumes, and ornate details in the Victoria series.

3. Poldark: (Amazon/PBS Masterpiece Classics) Set in Cornwall after the Revolutionary War, this series follows Ross Poldark, a former Captain for the British military. The rivalries and romances alone make this show one of my all-time favorite period dramas since finishing Downton Abbey. Oh, and did I mention that Aidan Turner is totally dreamy? Watch one episode, and you’ll see for yourself.

4. The Great British Baking Show: (Netflix) I never knew reality television could be so sweet. In this series, amateur bakers compete in baking challenges for the title of Star Baker and a grand price of glass cake stand etched with “The Great British Bake Off.” You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll see competitors actually encouraging and helping one another. This endearing show is a must-see for anyone who loves baking, kindness, and renewing one’s faith in humanity.

In this world of media consumption, it’s worth considering how your own television habits contribute to your mood, temperament, and quality of sleep. So the next time you need a break from the evening news, crime tv, or American reality shows, give one of these British episodes a try.

Just remember, I’ve called dibs on Ross Poldark.

❤️ Natalie

5 Clean Swaps You Can Make This Year

January is my favorite month for a few different reasons: first, my birthday is on the 7th, second, I’m refreshed after my Christmas break from school, and third, Victoria and This Is Us return to regular television.

But most of all, I love January because I get to fill out my new paper planner (I’m old school here) and set goals for making THIS the best year yet.

But even if you keep your calendar on your smartphone, you didn’t have a Christmas break or a recent birthday, and you’re not a fan of British royal dramas or Milo Ventimiglia (who even are you?), there are several swaps you can make this year to make health and simplicity a priority.

  1. Clean up your shower with a cotton liner: I’ll admit, I threw out our plastic shower liner before telling my husband. He was so confused one morning when he realized it was gone! But once I explained my crazy, and the fact that plastic liners are made of PVC and contain VOCs, he was happy with a cotton curtain and a clean shower.
  2. Pick out new pots and pans: Do your research on non-stick pots and pans, and you’ll find yourself falling down the toxic-laden rabbit hole. I don’t know about you, but as the main cook in our family, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to safely serve our family meals. This year, I switched to stainless-steel pots and pans. Consider these, or cast-iron, to more safely prepare your family’s meals.
  3. Switch to safer beauty: Scary fact–currently, the US only bans 30 toxic ingredients from personal care products. Download apps like Think Dirty or EWG (Environmental Working Group) to learn more about the ingredients in your makeup, bath, body, baby, and men’s personal care products. Be wary of anything including fragrance, as it can hide toxic ingredients that can be carcinogens and hormone disruptors. I love companies like Beautycounter, Phlur, and Native.
  4. Shop smarter: We can all take a page from Marie Kondo’s book and KonMari our *&%$ until all that is left is what truly “sparks joy.” And when we do choose to buy more, we should consider shopping from local businesses or companies that are certified Bcorps (they put sustainability, transparency, and social and environmental impact above all else).
  5. Detoxify your mind: I know Chris Harrison says this is the “MOST DRAMATIC SEASON YET,” but I literally feel my brain cells melting like the Wicked Witch of the West when I watch any new season of #bachelornation. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a guilty pleasure, but consider something that will inspire you. Baking shows like The Great British Baking Show, design shows like Grand Designs, or ANYTHING on Masterpiece Classics on PBS will both entertain and enlighten you. Plus, they will give you the most peaceful serene feeling right before you go to bed.

What changes have you already made this new year? I’m always looking for new ideas to add to my list (aka my paper planner).

❤️ Natalie