My Summer Bucket List

“‘Cause a little bit of summer’s what the whole year’s all about…”

Wildfire, John Mayer

With the amazing weather we experienced this week now a distant memory, I have decided to preserve Summer the only way I can… in my mind. After all, Summer is more of a state of mind than it is a tangible season, at least here in the U.K.

So, until I’m able to get on a plane and fly away safely, I will be doing my best to bring a little bit of Summer into my life through a range of fun activities and good vibes only. Consequently, I’ve crafted a little bucket list for this Summer. I hope it brings you some ideas for how to manifest the Mykonos vibes, without the need for a PCR test. Aperol Spritz optional, but highly recommended.

  1. Brunches, lunches and dinners outside – I know many of us have graduated to indoor dining now that restrictions have lifted, but I am still of the opinion that outdoor dining is the elite way to eat. Not only does it feel like you are in Spain when you are in fact, in Soho, but it is probably a bit safer right now. Of course, this one might require a bit of cooperation from the weather gods above.
  2. Sunset walks – If you were anything like me in the depths of lockdown, you may have passionately iterated that you never wanted to go on another aimless walk again. Yeah, I certainly made that statement a few times, and I would like to scratch it from the record please. There is something about walks on those long, pink-skied Summer evenings that makes you feel like you are starring in your own rom-com. In terms of where to go, Notting Hill is my favourite place to wander. It’s “surreal, but nice…”
  3. Try Rock Climbing – I have been wanting to try rock climbing for a while now and I feel Summer is the perfect time to tick it off the list. I am hoping to try this soon with a friend of mine who has done it a few times and can show me the ropes. Pun intended.
  4. Clubbing – Need I say more…
  5. Reading in a park in the sun – Is there honestly anything better than a good book and a spot of sunbathing? If you’re still struggling with Hayfever like myself, I would strongly advise you take a Cetirizine before you go. Close your eyes, let the sun soak into your skin and you could be anywhere. Just don’t fall asleep there!
  6. Tennis with friends – A friend of mine recently suggested we play tennis as a fun mid-week activity and booked some courts in her local park. It was such a great night and made me realise how much I miss actually playing sports. So many of us work out at home or at the gym, but I seriously think there is something to be said for bringing back the sports we loved when we were kids.
  7. Cook a Summery meal – Admittedly, I would not generally put cooking on my list of hobbies, however I am trying to get more into it. When something feels like a bit of a chore, a great way to trick your brain into liking it more is by setting yourself a challenge. I want to try to create an original Summer meal that is not only easy to make, but delicious. I’ll let you know how it goes!
  8. Get into Love Island – This year has certainly been a slow burn compared to previous seasons of Love Island but, finally the show has started to heat up. Casa Amor is happening tomorrow and I am ready for the chaos.
  9. Picnic – This one might put you at the mercy of the Weather Channel again, so I would suggest a spontaneous picnic. On a warm day send a message to your friends, grab a blanket and head to Sainsburys to stock up on tinnies and strawberries. A low maintenance and generally cheap afternoon of fun is guaranteed.
  10. Karaoke night – For my birthday a few months ago, I did a karaoke night with the girls and it was the most fun I have had in a while. With private rooms so that you don’t need to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of an audience of strangers, Lucky Voice is the place to be! The waiters can even bring pizza to your room if you get hungry from belting out bangers. As for song suggestions? Anything Britney or Taylor Swift always goes down a treat in my friendship group.

I hope this list has brightened up your rainy evening and given you a few ideas for how to make the most of this Summer. If you try any of the things on the list, please leave me a comment and let me know. Summer loading…

We Have A Problem.

So… a lot has happened in the space of a week. It didn’t come home, but the England squad put in a performance for the ages. We were devastated but oh so proud! At least, the real fans were. The fake ones went to Twitter and Instagram to take out their anger on Sancho, Rashford and Saka in a slew of disgusting racist tweets and comments, showing once again the repellent nature that is not only prevalent in football, but throughout our society.

Listen, we all know that racism exists, however, in the U.K. there is this prevailing rhetoric that “things aren’t as bad over here as they are in the U.S.” Clearly, they are, of course. The main difference I would say is guns, and the fact that it is just more convenient to turn a blind eye to it all and pretend that racism is not a problem over here. It reminds me of a quotation from YOU on Netflix, “People believe whatever supports their world view. ” Those who do not believe there is a problem, will never find one. Those who are curious and committed to do better, will.

Image via England on Twitter

What has angered me the most perhaps about this situation though is the passive attitude of social media companies who do not do anything to limit hate speech and racism on their platforms. Not only have these footballers had to deal with processing their personal and professional disappointment (not to mention that of an entire nation), but they have been subject to the vilest insults online. It is simply unforgivable.

As stories began to emerge about just how bad the online abuse was getting, I, and friends of mine, went to the players’ Instagram profiles to find and report any hate we encountered. However, for every single comment I reported I was met with the same response: “our technology has found that this comment probably does not go against our Community Guidelines.” What is the point in having a ‘Report Comment’ function if Instagram refuses to delete or block racist comments?

Now, I understand that technological mistakes happen. What I cannot understand however, is how Instagram has the technology to flag posts containing information related to Covid-19, but is not able to do the same for racism and hate speech? It is a question of priorities and unfortunately, social media companies are notoriously subject to social pressure when it comes to moral matters.

Finally, a few days ago, after constant pressure from the public, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri made a statement admitting to a “moderation mistake over racist comments”, which has supposedly now been fixed1. Nevertheless, just a quick scroll down through the comment sections of Sancho, Saka or Rashford’s Instagram posts will show you that racist comments and emojis are still very much alive and well.

One year on from George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the globe, one would think that social media companies had sorted out their moderation practises for racist abuse online… It is not only disappointing that they haven’t, but ultimately, dangerous. We have seen rising issues of mental health in the past 18 months due to the pandemic, which is disproportionately worse for people of colour due to existing inequalities in housing, finance and employment2. Let’s not forget that it is not only the footballers who see the comments left on their pages, but also the boys and girls who look up to them.

What is worse than individual acts of racism and discrimination are the organisations, institutions and people in power who not only let individuals get away with it, but favour white rhetoric online. It may not always be obvious, but by not removing racist comments, that is what Instagram is doing. Since the majority of our interaction happens online nowadays, we need to have confidence that social media companies will protect those most vulnerable by blocking hate and taking an actively anti-racist stance. Instagram, do better!

Further Reading:

  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-57848106
  2. https://www.rota.org.uk/content/covid-19-mental-illness-and-race-why-are-ethnic-minorities-more-risk

What Comes Next

Believe it or not, we are now closer to 2022 than 2020 at this point in the year… I know. And I would totally put the inspiring, terrible and strange events of the past couple of weeks down to some kind of astrological reasoning… ‘Cancer Rising’ or ‘Mercury in Retrograde’… isn’t that what the Astrologers blame it on when everything starts to go crazy? Unfortunately, I think it’s just humans being humans, and there’s always a hamartia when it comes to us.

From Britney being denied removal of her conservatorship, to Bill Cosby being released from prison and Matt Hancock’s illicit affair whilst flouting social distancing rules, it’s been a messy few weeks. It’s not all bad though; England is in the Euros final against Italy and will play tonight in the hopes of bringing football home. This inspiring event has even caused iconic 00’s girl band Atomic Kitten to reunite and officially release ‘Southgate You’re The One (Football’s Coming Home Again)’. Twelve year old me is screaming…

Denmark v England Semi Final – Image via Gabriela Godinho-Moxon

With society only eight days away from fully reopening here in the U.K. when all Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted, I wonder are things going to get even crazier? Probably. It’s almost like we are all trying to make up for lost time spent in lockdown baking banana bread and watching Tiger King. Gosh, wasn’t that like a decade ago?

There is a real mixture of opinions, of course, with regard to whether people want life to return to full “normalcy” just yet, or if it is irresponsible given the rise in coronavirus cases from the Delta variant. Many people are understandably anxious about The Great Reopening, while others are counting down the days like a child at Christmas with a Cadbury advent calendar.

Regardless of what you believe, I’m sure we can all agree that life is certainly moving at speed again. With a Summer of sport upon us – including Wimbledon, the Euros and the Olympics – bars and restaurants reopening and reunions with loved ones, there are many reasons to celebrate.

So, perhaps the frenetic nature of the past few weeks is down to the cosmos, or maybe, it’s just us trying hard to make up for lost time, seize the day and cram it all in. Honestly, it makes sense. Many of us feel as though we lost some prime years in the pandemic. I was 25 when we went into the first lockdown and 27 by the time we came out of the last one. Plans were put on hold, holidays were cancelled, deadlines were pushed back and life lost its colour for awhile. It all got a bit grey and well, you were there…

I know things are far from ideal right now, but it does feel as though if we are lucky enough to be healthy, vaccinated and coming out the other side of this year, we should shout “YES!” obnoxiously loudly and grab every opportunity that comes our way with aplomb. The colourful hues are slowly coming back now. So, if you feel ready for it, grab your England shirt and go have some adventures – with the unique and grounding perspective that only living through a global pandemic could possibly grant you. #itscominghome

Why Failing Isn’t Really Failure

What do you consider to be a failure? Is it when you tell yourself you are going to do something and you break that promise to yourself? Is it when you put yourself out there and you are rejected for a new job, a venture, or a relationship? Or is a failure when you simply don’t win; financially, professionally, or personally? If so, does that mean that 2nd place is always synonymous with failure?

For me, while those things might be indications of failing, they are not themselves failures. Most importantly, failing does not mean that you are a failure. It is vital to make this distinction because although failing never feels good, it helps us in the long run. It can be difficult to acknowledge the times in your life where you feel as though things have not gone your way, but once you do, you are on your way to learning, growing – and crucially – one step closer to success.

People say this all the time so bear with me, but how boring would life be if we always achieved what we set out to? If we hit the ground running and always pulled through, how would we ever know how much our dreams mean to us and what we truly value?

One of the reasons I love Cristiano Ronaldo is because he utilises every past mistake, criticism, and judgement to drive him toward success. Perhaps if Ronaldo hadn’t felt the pain of defeat in the 2004 Euros, he may never have led Portugal to victory in 2016. How would we ever realise what it means to persevere and come out the other side without these experiences? Ultimately, failing not only makes us more resilient, but it also makes us better, and less entitled, people.

So, does that mean that failing is actually good for us? Well, I certainly think so. Failing teaches us to fight a bit harder, to get more creative, and to consider different paths. Years ago, when I felt like I was failing a little more than usual, I confided in my sister and she offered me some great advice: “There is more than one path to get to where you want.” Sometimes, words just make you sit up and listen… She was right.

In those times when we fail a lot, we should take a step back and listen. Albert Einstein famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and it’s true; why would the outcome change if the input has not? Often, we become so focused on our goals that we go through our lives like a bulldozer, not understanding the damage we are causing to our planet, to society, and to ourselves.

Image via Pinterest

Some of us might become passive rather than active participants in our own lives, which frequently means we do not consider the best path to get to where we want. Knocking on the same door a hundred times does not guarantee it will open, so do not force it. Consider knocking on other doors and you might just find an open window or two on your way. As my mother so wisely put it when I informed her of the topic for today’s blog post: “Fail as many times as you need to become who you want to be.”

The Joys of June

The fact that you are reading this right now signals that we have officially arrived at the last weekend of June. From the availability of vaccinations for all adults in the U.K. to a dramatic group stage of the Euros 2020, it’s been an eventful month.

So, let me tell you what has kept me busy, motivated and (duh!) joyful this month. I hope they might help brighten up some of the greyer days of summer for you too!

  1. Euros 2020 – The Euros 2020 have most definitely injected some much needed excitement back into our lives again, and oh, how we have missed it! Whether you are watching from home with your family or getting down to the pub with your friends, it feels amazing to have a reason to celebrate again. Maybe this year it really is coming home! If not, let Portugal keep the trophy please… one of the two.
  2. The Bold Type – If you haven’t heard of The Bold Type, it is a tv show on Netflix that boasts four seasons, with the fifth and final season dropping any day now. The show follows three Millennial best friends living in New York City who all work for the same women’s magazine. But, before you write it off as just another light-hearted New York dramedy, it is important to highlight the varied, realistic and often incredibly challenging subject matter the show explores; from Breast Cancer to sexual exploration in a raw yet sensitive way. If you are in the 24-30 age bracket then this tv show will definitely make you feel seen.
  3. Drama Queens Podcast – It wouldn’t be a ‘favourites of the month’ post without adding a nostalgia podcast to the list. What can you do when one of your favourite fictional trios from your teenage years offers up a behind the scenes look at the show that sky-rocketed them into Hollywood. This is a podcast for all the One Tree Hill fans, courtesy of the Peyton, Brooke and Hayley, aka the Tree Hill High girls you have always wanted to sit with… and now you can! Click here to listen to the first episode now.
  4. ClassPass – You probably know what ClassPass is; either you are a member and swear by the variety of fitness classes and treatments on there, or you are one of those who wishes they could afford a membership. I belong to the latter group! ClassPass have always offered a free trial whereby you can use 20 credits to try out any fitness classes you like, but if you’ve already exhausted that method, now existing members can also refer friends. I have loved making the most of my friend’s referral to get better at spinning and even try out a Reggaetón dance class. It was so much fun and gives you a huge confidence boost! Click here to check out ClassPass.
  5. Greenlights – Greenlights is Matthew McConaughey’s first book; part autobiography, part guide to catching more ‘greenlights’, aka those moments in your life where you manage to turn red traffic lights to green. McConaughey writes truthfully, lyrically and with bucket-loads of humour about his childhood, entry into Hollywood and personal life. You’ll adore taking a dive into this book if you are a Matthew McConaughey fan or if you are at all interested in the film industry.
  6. Montezuma’s Happiccino Coffee Chocolate – If you love coffee and you love chocolate, then this coffee-flavoured chocolate will make your tummy grumble for more. This bar is not too strong to replace your daily coffee, but definitely energising enough to put an extra spring in your step. Plus, the brand is all about creating a happier, more sustainable planet through fair trading and recyclable/compostable packaging. Click here to give into your cravings!
  7. Vagabond Wines – It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Vagabond wine bar and there are now nine locations throughout London! However, earlier this week I visited the Paddington branch and although the quintessential wine tasting is on pause due to the pandemic, the food and wine is just as delicious as ever. Might I recommend the Mixed Sharing Platter and Truffle Fries… Thank me later!
  8. Clinique Dramatically Different BB-Gel – As the days get warmer and longer, I have not been in the mood to slather a layer of foundation onto my skin. However, when I go out I do like to use a product that will help blur imperfections and keep oil at bay, while letting my skin breath. Enter the Clinique Dramatically Different BB-Gel; it goes onto the skin white and then blends with your natural colouring to provide a light coverage base that allows your natural skin texture to shine through. It’s the product that you need to nail the ‘no makeup makeup’ look this summer, I promise. Click here to check it out!

I hope you enjoyed my Joys of June and let me know if you try, do, watch, read or listen to any of my favourite things above. Here’s to the month of July! I’m manifesting another scorcher of a heat wave and either a Portugal and England Euros 2020 victory. Vamos com tudo / It’s Coming Home kids!

None of the items, shows, or books featured were gifted by the brands mentioned and I was not sponsored for this post. All opinions are my own.

5 Ways To Increase Your Productivity

“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”

Michael Jordan

Is anyone else struggling to be productive while working from home? Recently, I have had lots of conversations with friends of mine who are all struggling with this same thing. It could be the fact that lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted so there is more to distract us outside our homes again, or perhaps it is the Euros 2020/2021 creating some excitement and atmosphere, both on screen and on the streets of London.

Whatever the reason, I have gathered a couple of my top tips for increasing my productivity during times where I feel as though I simply cannot concentrate.

  1. Focus Hour – Setting aside an hour to focus solely on one task is a great way to get a lot done in a short space of time. Use a timer on your phone to track yourself and take a short break after the hour has passed. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
  2. Airplane Mode – Using Airplane Mode or the ‘do not disturb’ setting on your phone is an excellent way to avoid distractions from social media and senseless scrolling while you work. Give yourself specific times to check in; for example, at lunchtime and when you log out for the day.
  3. Use a diary – Whether it is the digital calendar in your phone or a physical diary, use it to plan your time and keep track of deadlines. You can also use calendar ‘Alerts’ to set reminders for weeks, days or hours before each deadline. This really helps avoid that feeling when you know you have something coming up, but you can’t quite remember what it is.
  4. Create Habits – If you know you have a recurring weekly deadline, set aside a specific time each week to work on the task. Then, set a recurring ‘Alert’ on your phone to remind you to keep the promise to yourself. Once you get into the swing of it, it will become an ingrained part of your week. After all, we are creatures of habit.
  5. Reward Yourself – Rewarding yourself is probably the most meaningful way you can increase your productivity as you will be more likely to stick to the focus hours, phone detoxes, diary planning and habits. Think of creative ways you can reward yourself after ticking off each item on your to-do list. Anything from a quick walk outside to buying a coffee out or reading a few pages of your book will make you feel better.
Rewarding myself with a trip to the pub for the Euros – Image via Gabriela Godinho-Moxon

I hope these tips can help you to increase your productivity and feel a little more in control of your to-do list this week. What are some of your tips for working from home and improving your productivity?

Like a Scratch

This week I got vaccinated. After the announcement on Monday that 25-29 year-olds could book their vaccine appointment, I woke up extra early to book my slot on Tuesday. I clearly wasn’t the only geeky-keen one. It was reported that Tuesday – the first day that 25-29 year-olds could book a jab – saw the most bookings of the vaccine thus far, roughly four times what has been deemed ‘normal’. Say what you want about Millennials but they want to get back to living!

I managed to book a slot for Wednesday and so, the following day I waltzed off in the toasty morning light to CP House Ealing, my closest vaccination centre. The whole thing was quick and painless – the nurse administering the jab told me it would feel like a “rough scratch”, but I barely even felt it. Admittedly I have a pretty high pain threshold; I credit waxing, epilation and living as a woman for that. “Wow. You’re in a good mood!” The masked volunteer said to me with what I assume was a grin on her face. I’ve got rather good at reading masked expressions at this point, I think. “Of course,” I said. “This is a big moment.” And it was.

I remember distinctly how I felt a year ago; I was in a post-birthday funk and in the depths of our first national lockdown. A solution to the sci-fi novel-turned-reality we were living in seemed so distant that it almost wasn’t worth talking about. Vaccines? Well, those could take years to be approved and rolled out the experts reminded us on the news every evening. We had a long way to go, and now, a year on – while we are not yet out of the woods – we can certainly see the clearing. Nature is healing and science has triumphed!

To see my peers’ Instagram stories flooded with vaccine cards, to watch my mum receive her second jab, to look on as Biden buys 500 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to donate to the world; it has been one surreal week. “Surreal, but nice.” Maybe the nice times will keep coming. Perhaps the unpleasant times are on the out. If some days still feel like a rough scratch, well, we already know we can deal with that.

Image via Gabriela Godinho-Moxon

…& So The Sunday Scaries

“I know a girl from a lonely street

Cold as ice cream, but still as sweet

Dry your eyes, Sunday Girl”

Sunday Girl, Blondie

Even though we all like to pretend Sunday is a ‘fun day’, much of our global population is united in the same feelings of stress and anxiety every week known as the ‘Sunday Scaries’. Whether it is the anticipation of a brand new week ahead, work stress, existential crises about where we are in our lives, the last couple of hours of the weekend are often lost to this dread every single week. Fun, huh?

According to a 2018 LinkedIn survey, 80% of American professionals experience the Sunday Scaries, but I wonder if that survey were to take place in 2021, would the results be any different? One of the few improvements brought about by the pandemic has been that working from home has become the norm. For parents and carers, in particular, working from home has been a game-changer. So, could the fact that many of us no longer have to endure long commutes, early starts and office stress alleviate our Sunday Scaries at all?

The answer, I think, is complicated. Whilst those particular stresses may not be so prevalent in our minds, others – general and pandemic-related – have reared their ugly heads. Perhaps your internal dialogue looks a little like this: Have I relaxed enough? Have I been productive enough? Have I seen my friends enough? Have I completed my life admin? Have I worked on my side-hustle? Have I wasted too much time on social media? Welcome to the inner-workings of my mind!

The thing is, we fill our lives up with so much stuff beyond our full-time jobs that it is not really that surprising we experience the Sunday Scaries each week, and most likely, the accompanying burnout. Weekdays are intense and busy for most people, and – if you are lucky enough to not work weekends – Saturday often becomes a catch-up day.

Therefore, Sunday is the only real opportunity for leisure activities or relaxation. Whichever way you choose to plan your weekend, with only one day per week to truly unwind, is it any wonder that we simply cannot relax on Sunday (aka the universal day of rest)?

Image via yourtango.com

I have always found the narrative that Millennials are painted out to be ‘sensitive snowflakes’ confusing. Millennials, in my opinion, have chosen to dismantle historical taboos and stand up to inequality, wading through difficult conversations surrounding race, LGBTQ+ issues, climate change and mental health. How is any of that sensitive? If you want to call it something, call it brave.

But, as with everything, bravery comes at a price. This desire many of us feel to take on a million things at once should be applauded, but also cautioned. The Sunday Scaries are often a reaction to a sensory and emotional overload. Perhaps it is a sign that we need to take some more time for ourselves, or maybe there is a bigger issue at play? Either way, we should take the time to explore the reasons behind the way we feel. Once we do, we can walk out of the gloom and over to the ice cream van…

The Sunday Scaries are not an Millennial-exclusive issue by any means. However, it is something that Millennials talk about increasingly, so much so, we coined the phrase! I am grateful for that, and the general acknowledgement that this kind of seemingly irrational fear of the week ahead is a shared experience; ultimately, a very human one.

I hope that today’s post makes anyone who is feeling the Sunday Scaries know that they are not alone, and the week ahead is definitely not as scary as your mind is leading you to believe. Perhaps this blog post isn’t as bad as the Scaries would have me believe either.

The Best of May

Happy Bank Holiday weekend kids! Despite May being my favourite month, sadly there were no heatwaves to ring in my birthday this year. Instead, it was a month of rain, hail, and – yes – about fifty shades of grey (the boring kind).

Below are some of the things I have been enjoying this month; the things that have helped keep me happy, inspired, moving and extremely grateful. I hope they will bring you some much-deserved solace and warmth too!

  1. Sour – Unless you’ve been avoiding social media, Spotify and humans this month, you will have likely heard Olivia Rodrigo’s latest single ‘good 4 u’. The song is the catchiest break-up/dance song I’ve heard in years, and gives us Millennials major ‘Misery Business’ Paramore vibes. I feel like I’m back in 2007 again every time I scream the chorus into my bathroom mirror… The rest of the album is heart-breaking, relatable, and mature in equal measure. So much so, you could be forgiven for thinking Rodrigo is older than her mere seventeen years. Although, she does remind us of her age with a line in ‘brutal’: “I’m so sick of seventeen.” My current favourite tracks on the album include: ‘brutal’, ‘traitor’ and ‘good 4 u’. Head to Spotify now to stream!
  2. Mare of Easttown – When I heard Kate Winslet was going to be in a dark crime series, I was extremely excited. Honestly, I was right to be – the show is superb, intriguing and surprisingly funny at points. I must warn you though, the levels of stress I experience seem to build with each passing episode. The writing is particularly brilliant and Kate’s performance is nuanced and raw. Gosh, I’ve missed seeing that woman on my screen. Head to NowTV to check out Mare of Easttown now before the final episode airs on Monday!
  3. Good old Italian – I hadn’t visited a proper Italian restaurant in a while and I’m convinced that there is nothing more soothing for the soul than authentic Italian pasta and a catch up with an old friend. Head to Osteria Basilico in Notting Hill for delicious wine, rustic interiors and to-die-for pasta. You know the place has got to be good when many of the customers are Italian too!
  4. Friends: The Reunion – This was the reunion I didn’t know I needed and let me tell you, it was emotional. I am a huge Friends fan and seeing all the actors back together reminiscing about their time on the show, revealing behind-the-scenes gossip and being just generally ADORABLE, made me feel super nostalgic. Prior to watching it, I must admit I wondered why they weren’t returning for a reunion episode as the characters, but as Lisa Kudrow points out during the reunion, the show ended so perfectly it wouldn’t make sense to go back and unravel those storylines. If you haven’t watched it yet, click here. Oh, and you had better source a box of tissues prior to viewing…
  5. Pvolve – My sister has got me hooked on these awesome and highly effective workouts from Pvolve. If you haven’t heard of Pvolve, it is a bit like a combination of barre and Pilates. The concept is low impact workouts that target muscle activation based on micro-movements. You can access the workouts from home via the App with a monthly subscription, or you can head into a physical studio if you live in the U.S. If you’re looking for a way to shake up your daily workouts, I would definitely recommend you give Pvolve a try.
  6. Snapchat – A couple of years ago, I deleted Snapchat off my phone for no particular reason other than I simply felt it wasn’t adding too much to my life. Earlier this week, I re-downloaded the app out of curiosity and I was actually pleasantly surprised. It kind of feels like the secretive sister of Instagram – the app that you use to show the parts of your life you perhaps don’t really want the whole internet to see. Forget followers; on Snapchat you are only friends with those you genuinely want to be. Another bonus is the filters that are about 1000 times better than the ones on Instagram (if you’re a filters person, of course). Snapchat, you’ve seduced me, again.
  7. Hail To The Victor Music Video – Thirty Seconds To Mars’ America album is one of those albums I continuously go back to and last week, they released a music video for the track Hail to the Victor. The video is basically a highlight reel of the 2018 Monolith world tour; during which I finally saw the band live at the O2 Arena. The enormous crowds, the ostentatious Jared Leto fashion moments, and the unbeatable atmosphere of those live shows is in full-force in the music video. It is the band’s homage to hope and a look-ahead at the return of live music. While we wait for the world to heal from the pandemic, live vicariously through the music video here.
  8. Hollywood – When I came across Hollywood by Charles Bukowski in a bookshop in Camden market, I immediately picked it up. I have always wanted to read some Bukowski and the title suggested this was the perfect novel to get me started. Hollywood is a hilarious, delightful, fictionalised version of the events that occurred and characters encountered when Bukowski decided to write a screenplay of his novel Barfly. Bukowski’s writing is completely without pretence and highly self-aware, without totally stripping the curtain back on the glamour of 1970’s Hollywood. You’ll zip through this book, I promise!
  9. Youth To The People Dream Mask – I cannot say that I was aware of this skincare brand before trying the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask, but now, I am a convert. It is a creamy-textured mask that easily melts into your skin when you put it on at night and is suitable for all skin types. I’ve been using the product on those evenings where I feel as though my skin needs an extra boost of hydration and I always wake up to brighter, smoother skin. Thirst officially quenched!
  10. Welcome to the OC, Bitches! Podcast – Noticing a pattern here? My favourite childhood shows are coming through with reunion content recently and I am front-row centre. This podcast is hosted by Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke, aka the legendary Summer Roberts and Julie Cooper on the hit teen drama. The premise is they watch an episode of The O.C each week and debrief the contents with special cast and crew members during the podcast. If you are interested in television, acting or casting then you will love hearing about all the behind-the-scenes industry nuggets. Speaking of, who knew that Chris Pine auditioned for the role of Ryan? That one blew my mind!

I hope you enjoyed my Best of May and let me know if you try, do, watch, read or listen to any of my favourite things above. Here’s to the month of June blessing us with – hopefully – some warmer weather and a first dose of the vaccine for us under 30 folks. Let’s go #vaxxgirlsummer

None of the items, shows, films or books featured were gifted by the brands mentioned and I was not sponsored for this post. All opinions are my own.

%d bloggers like this: