Writing this post with my feet just beside the heater in my room and some lo-fi beats playing in the background is really setting the perfect ambience for my last ‘Open-hearted joys’ post of 2021. In fact, can you believe that there are just five blog posts left of this year?! The last 12 months zoomed by in the blink of an eye, and it’s been fairly wild to look back on. We’ve been through collective trauma, grief, hope and joy, and I am incredibly grateful for the cosy and kind community that always returns here. Despite restrictions being reinstated here in the UK, I’ve had a pretty lovely couple of weeks. I’ve, happily, dialled back on most of my usual activities in favour of doing nothing and it feels good. My boyfriend is the best at making sure I have time to simply relax and I genuinely feel an entire weight lifted from mind and body.

There’s a lot to be said for appreciating the smaller, not necessarily finer details of the everyday mundane. Here’s to another list of petite, open-hearted joys, the moments that’ve brought and woven poetry to my days, this fortnight:

一. Making toast topped with truffle hummus, and roasted tomatoes and garlic for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Just delicious! This time of year always calls for hot snacks.

二. Reflecting on our Black Friday sales, and how successfully our autumn/winter has been in general, at & Chai. It feels so good to see our hard work and prep pay off. Next year is going to be even better! And, the symphony of crackling & Chai candles that I layer and burn as I work from home each day. Right now I’m enjoying our Hunting for Autumn and Brewster fragrances paired together!

三. Bingo with the girls last week. It was my first time and we, surprisingly, had so much fun. A lovely mid-week pick-me-up.

四. Otherworldly sunrises, viewed through my boyfriend’s eye, because I just adore sunrises yet I’m never up early enough to see them.

五. Putting up and decorating our first Christmas tree together!

六. An impromptu playdate with my niece and nephew. We dropped off a storybook advent calendar for my niece who loves to read and ended up staying for a cup of tea and a Lego-making session.

七. Finally watching Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo. It’s such a heartwarming and funny K-drama. I can’t believe I missed it when it first came out.

八. Hand-making the last of this year’s Christmas gifts.

九. The cosy ASMR of my mechanical keyboard as I work. Easily one of the best purchases I made this year!

十. My morning game of hide-and-seek with Milo.

What are some of the little joys from your world, lately?

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