June/July Favourites

As the UK eases out of lockdown, I wanted to share some of my favourites as I’ve had more time to read, cook, workout and watch TV! Below are a few of my top picks from the past few months spent at home. 

TV/film

Big Little Lies – Amazon Prime

Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern– what’s not to love? Big Little Lies is a dark comedy/drama set in a seaside town in California. The story revolves around three women who are emotionally troubled and find themselves involved in a murder case investigation. It’s heartfelt, cathartic, shocking and beautifully crafted; as the violence which underpins the show, is played against the cutaways to rolling, crashing waves which complement the show’s focus on women’s experiences as wives and mothers. Big Little Lies will draw you in, shock you and leave you feeling almost hopeful for the future of female relationships. 

The Morning Show – AppleTV

The show revolves around a successful American morning show, as it navigates the rivalries, tensions and relationships that happen off and on the camera. Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon star as the two show hosts, as Steve Carrell’s character, Mitch, faces allegations of sexual misconduct with some of the female employees. The show is fast paced, at times a little over-dramatic but deals brilliantly in a nuanced, cogent and absorbing fashion of exploring a MeToo storyline within a broadcast newsroom. It manages to juggle the mix of complicated emotions and motivations swirling among the men and women caught up in this drama about ambition and abuse.

QI Series R – BBC iPlayer

Oh, how I love this show! A panel show all about finding the unexpected answers. It’s light-hearted, funny and in parts informative. Sandy Toksvig is the show’s host and she brilliantly complements Alan Davis, the longest-running contestant and guest. A great way to wind down from the day, thirty minutes well spent.

National Theatre Live – YouTube

In response to the closing of theatres and cinemas, the National Theatre UK decided to broadcast weekly shows to YouTube. Ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch’s Frankenstein, RSC Antony and Cleopatra and Twelfth Night starring the talented Tamsin Greig and A Streetcar Named Desire. It was a great way to explore more theatre in a more affordable and comfortable way, I would highly recommend you check out the collection.

Jack Whitehall’s Sporting Nation – BBC iPlayer

A more recent discovery for me, as comedian Jack Whitehall provides the nation with a much-needed sport rewind of the UK’s greatest sporting moments. It’s an easy, funny and entertaining watch as Jack comments on many great sporting enemies, heroes and everything in-between.

Books

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of the best books I’ve read in a while. Owen’s evocation of nature in her descriptive prose and the compelling and compassionate character of Kya; make this book hard to put down. Part murder mystery and part coming-of-age; it’s explorations of love, survival and loneliness are elegantly displayed and written. 

Humankind by Rutger Bregman

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What if we assumed that people are good? “The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust”. Releasing a book with the subtitle “a hopeful history” in the middle of a global pandemic seems a brave choice, but the hope which Bregman’s latest work gives out is refreshing. His research and anecdotes are enough to make even Hobbesian cynics feel a little less jaded about humanity – even if they’re not fully convinced. “Sociability is our superpower”, says Bregman, who rejects the veneer theory of humanity, instead he explores how the opposite is true; in search for a better future.

Be Your Own Best Friend by Chessie King

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This book is uplifting and inspiring, as Chessie’s bubbly, infectious and positive personality shines through. As though you are talking to your best friend, Chessie, through her own life experiences works through the mishaps of life. The artwork is bright and beautifully illustrated – I read it in one day!

Persuasion by Jane Austen 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A classic and yet another Austen! I have already uploaded a review to my blog which you can find here:

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.” The switch is now in action. Utter feel-good rom-com, comedy. Easy escapism on a rainy day.

Fitness

I have been really enjoying my fitness during these past few months and the FIIT app and subscription has been great. Classes from cardio, strength and rebalance studios – with expert trainers, it’s so easy to build fitness and feel great after a session. From FIIT I discovered Cat Meffan and her YouTube channel, and her yoga flows have been a great mental and physical release. 

Beauty/Skincare

Ren Clean Skincare: Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask

For those times when your skin needs a boost, refresh and a bit of TLC- this mask! Super moisturising, calming and great for easing stress during lockdown.

Kate Somerville: Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment

A super-fancy, luxury face oil – which not only smells amazing but is great for dry, sensitive skin. It is on the pricey side, but will last you for ages as you only need a couple of drops. I add it to the end of my morning and night-time routine. 

Bumble and Bumble: Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer

This is my most recent purchase and I love it! Whilst also providing heat protection from my straighteners, it leaves my hair with a lovely shine – plus it smells amazing!

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