Bloom: Navigating Life and Style
Have you ever bought a book and immediately felt a strong connection to it? As soon as Bloom arrived in the mail, I ripped open the packaging and was in awe. Being a designer myself, I have a strong appreciation for well designed products, and this book is definitely a beauty. The feel of it, the actual sense of touching this book, was the first thing that impressed me. The color scheme, the minimalist design, the mood of the photography and the typeface all get an A+ in my book (heh). The author is the amazing bosslady and social media queen Estée Lalonde. Estée is a blogger and YouTuber, and kind of like a big sister that has all the best advice about EVERYTHING. She's one of my biggest design inspirations, guys, her home is dreamy. Straight off the bat, I could see all the influence she had in the design of the book. It's so absolutely her, and I'm glad I was well acquainted with her platform before picking up Bloom. Fear not though, this book will resonate with anyone who appreciates a good personal growth journey along with some great life advice.
Bloom is a great book because it's really just about life. It's about the things we all deal with, the exciting, the mundane. It's about love, friendships, relationships, beauty, style, interiors, travel, food, mental health, personal growth... all strung together through Estée's life narrative. I don't want to totally spoil the book because I urge everyone to support this awesome lady and buy the book (and read it and love it), so I'm going to talk a little bit about some of my favorite parts of each chapter instead!
Chapter 1: LIFE
In this chapter, Estée writes about the year she stopped laughing. It's all about her struggles with depression and anxiety: how she dealt with it, how it worsened when she moved to England, and how she and her partner worked together to help her overcome it. Personally, this story hits home, really hard. I had such a similar trajectory. I sort of just dealt with my anxiety, usually not in very constructive ways. When I moved to New York, it got so horrible that I literally just couldn't deal with it. I was a wreck of a human. It was only once I regrouped and got help that I was able to manage it. But enough about me. I think it's so important for people to talk about mental health. I know for a fact if it hadn't been for a friend opening up to me about her depression and Zoe Sugg for opening up about her anxiety, I wouldn't be where I am today. I think it helps people realize that they're not alone! It's crazy because literally everyone struggles with mental health. Everyone has something in their mind that affects their every day life. In short, we're all fucked up and I'm not special for having anxiety and panic attacks just as you're not special for not being able to leave your bed. So why is it so socially unacceptable to talk about mental illness and treat it just like we treat physical illness? Basically, the more people we have out there talking, the more it will be normalized. So thank you Estée.
Chapter 2: PEOPLE
Maybe it's because I'm a sappy romantic, but my favorite part of this chapter, hands down, was about how Estée met Aslan, her partner, and how she moved to England so that they could be together *swoon*. This part almost feels like a teenage romcom, although later we learn about all the downs of their journey too. They meet at an online chatroom, he travels from London to Canada to meet her, and they set off on this amazing two-month road trip around the US. What is so great about this is that you can just tell how in love they were (and still are). I also have to mention the part where she talks about friendships. All I have to say is that Estée and I may have been separated at birth because I was definitely the same way in my elementary years.
Chapter 3: WORK
Estée writes a lot about being self employed. I love what she had to say about starting out as a blogger--sometimes she felt like a fraud and it took her a bit to really find her footing. It's funny again how relatable this was. Something that I really loved was how she mentioned that blogging gave her a sense of purpose. It's crazy how the random little things we pick up for fun end up picking us up in return sometimes. This chapter is really great to people who are self starters. I know personally I would love to create my own perfect little job because I find that I love working for myself and that most jobs just don't cut it in terms of creative fulfillment. There's something about reading stories of how people started off and their success journeys that are so inspiring to me.
Chapter 4: BEAUTY
I really enjoyed this chapter for a few reasons. First of all, the messages about inner beauty and how something as superficial as makeup can make you feel great and how okay that is... yes. Just yes. Second of all, I love the feel of this chapter. The second half of it sort of feels like a long blog post. There's tons of advice and recommendations and how-to's. Like I said, Estée has that knowledgable older sister vibe, so her writing about how she styles her hair or her beauty essentials feels like advice. It encourages me to try something new!
Chapter 5: FASHION
I love this chapter because I really appreciate Estée's sense of style. It's so uniquely her, yet she's also on trend. Every time I see a photo or video of her, I find myself fangirling over her coat, top, bag, or accessories. She has a section of this chapter where she writes about investment pieces vs trend pieces vs designer pieces. I read this book shortly after I swore off ever supporting Forever 21. The way she explained how she buys clothes made me say "YES, THIS IS DEFINITELY WHAT I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO, YET NEVER REALIZED IT." It's basically all about how fast fashion has taken over, and we tend to overbuy clothes that doesn't last after a few washes. I have always hated that. I also want to express that I haven't bought any new clothes since November because of this! Basically what I want to do is invest in great clothing. Buy timeless pieces that are extremely great quality, that will last long and always look great. Obviously, as Estée mentions, this takes a lot of times because you should be really sure about what you're buying. Along with buying amazing, well-made clothing comes spending a lot more money. Where I'm used to spending about $15 on a shirt, maybe I'll spend $85 on an amazing one. This helps with the whole overbuying thing, but at the same time it means you need to save a lot more. It's also important to buy a few trendy pieces here and there. These should be the cheaper fast-fashion option. You know that whole off the shoulder trend? I never bought into that because 1, it didn't suit me, but 2, I also knew the trend would only last a few months! So trend pieces should be bought for trends you want to follow, knowing they won't last very long. As Estée puts it, it's "the icing on top of the wardrobe cake!"
Chapter 6: HOME
I couldn't even pick the best part of this chapter because it might just be my favorite chapter in the book. Estée's home is so beautiful and her and Aslan's style come together to make amazing design choices. The section about plants is amazing. She has these beautiful giants plants in her living room and I hope to one day have the same. I love the minimalistic staples mixed with funky decor. Honestly, if you love interiors you'll love this.
Chapter 7: TRAVEL
This is another chapter that sort of feels like a long blog post--in the best way possible. It outlines Estée's and Aslan's travels with beautiful pictures and little blurbs about each stop. I love how she writes about both London and Canada and how they've both shaped her as a person. Moving to London has always been a little fantasy of mine. I've never been there, but as a kid I read a lot of fiction taking place in the UK, and I also watched a lot of British children's shows and movies. England, and the UK in general, have always sort of called to me. I hope to one day be as brave as Estée and live there. Even if it's just for a few months or something, I'd love to!
Chapter 8: FOOD
Guys, food is one of my favorite things about life. I love finding new recipes, I love baking, and I love finding delicious healthy food. However, I also love indulging in fast food every now and again, and I have a huge sweet tooth. Also, pizza is the answer to life. Estée writes about balance in this chapter which is something I also believe in. I don't like to limit or restrict myself because what kind of life would that be? If I'm stressed, I'll probably eat a comforting meal, and if I'm celebrating, I'll probably order dessert. I love that Estée has the same outlook. If I'm thinking too much about food, I feel that it can be unhealthy in the way I think about food. Estée also has some great recipes in this chapter that you have to try!
I hope you guys enjoyed my little review, and definitely check out the book. You won't be disappointed! You can check out Estée's blog here: http://www.esteelalonde.com/