Boy oh boy, am I excited to share this month's favourites! I found some really cool goodies although I'm slightly disappointed that these items are not as much on the nerdier side as I'd like. But they're still some great finds and I hope you try some of them out!
Dumbledore's (Rowling's) Dry Humour - The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Yesterday marked 20 years after the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and I reserved my festivities and celebration for this monthly tradition. It's only when you go back and pick up the books as an adult that you realise how many hidden gems of dry British humour there are in all of Rowling's works. But the additional notes by Albus Dumbledore in The Tales of Beedle the Bard (translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger) especially stand out to me today.
Take, for example, this section of his notes on The Fountain of Fair Fortune:
Mr Malfoy submitted his demand for a ban on the story in writing:
Any work of fiction or non-fiction that depicts interbreeding between wizards and Muggles should be banned from the bookshelves of Hogwarts. I do not wish my son to be influenced into sullying the purity of his bloodline by reading stories that promote wizard–Muggle marriage.
My refusal to remove the book from the library was backed by a majority of the Board of Governors. I wrote back to Mr Malfoy, explaining my decision...
...This exchange marked the beginning of Mr Malfoy’s long campaign to have me removed from my post as Headmaster of Hogwarts, and of mine to have him removed from his position as Lord Voldemort’s Favourite Death Eater.
My response prompted several further letters from Mr Malfoy, but as they consisted mainly of opprobrious remarks on my sanity, parentage and hygiene, their relevance to this commentary is remote.
Book - Is it Just Me? by Miranda Hart
Speaking of dry British humour, here's a delightful read. Take a moment to think of all the cringeworthy, silly, and stupid moments in your life. Mine was when I walked out of the loo in my school with a part of my skirt tucked into my underwear. Needless to say, all the girls laughed and I was mortified for years. So mortified that I never went back to the loo and gave up peeing in public restrooms altogether for a few years.
Miranda's book is a collection of such life experiences with her often wondering out loud if these horrible things happen only to her. It was good to know that I was in good company especially when I got to the part where she accidentally (and literally) pooped her pants at the BBC after an enema and colonoscopy, and had to leave the place with a translucent shawl covering her bare bottom.
If that last sentence doesn't sell this book to you, I don't know what will.
App - Headspace
This is a meditation app that I'm sure a lot of you must be already familiar with. My journey with Headspace started exactly two years ago when I thought that taking care of my mind was as important as taking care of my body. I took their basics pack consisting of 10 free guided meditations back in 2015 in order to test the waters and see for myself if this was for me.
Verdict: Oh, it was definitely for me.
BUT, back then, I failed to see how paying a monthly subscription fee for the betterment of my mind was going to be of any use to me. Basically, I was pretty darn stupid back then.
This month, however, I found myself crawling back to this comforting app and even subscribed to it for access to all the packages they offer. I've been meditating every single day (and sometimes even twice or thrice a day) since I went back and everyone around me has been noticing the difference. I kid you not, ask Shane and Meenal. They don't want to beat me to death with my own limbs that they pulled out in fury anymore.
This app has really made a difference to my overall mental health and moreover, they do such a great job with their animations, rewards, and design that I feel they totally earned the monthly subscription fee. Anyone who delivers such beautiful and helpful work deserves to be paid for their services.
TV Show - Gilmore girls
I know, I know. I'm 17 years too late to get on this bandwagon but in the year 2000, I was nine years old and my father was fighting cancer. That came off a little more dark than I expected but that's the reality of it.
I'd been debating whether or not I wanted to commit myself to yet another old school show because of that thing I do where I have to finish anything I start which has resulted in my groaning in pain while trying to edge closer to the end of Gossip Girl, and keeping knives away from my wrists while speeding through the pages of 50 Shades Freed. And especially after my experience with Gossip Girl, I wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to another "GG".
But with the very first episode itself, I knew I could easily fall in love with this one. It's just an unrealistic, dreamy, feel-good show that you can always have playing in the background or down your sorrows in on a bad day. It has its share of naivety, sexism, and racism but people were just crawling out of the 90's when this show came out y'all. I would totally cut them some slack.
This is a show you want to be watching on a rainy, sleepy day in.
Movie - Moonlight
Again, I'm a lot of months too late in getting into this fandom but oh.emm.jee.
I'm usually the sort of person who looks at a film that won the Oscars and goes "really?" (I'm looking at you, Slumdog Millionaire!)
But this was one those movies that Shane and I watched and later sat down to have a whole discussion about. It felt too...real. I don't want to give away even a single thing for those of you who haven't watched it yet but when you do, come back and tell me you noticed how beautifully they captured the very last clip of the movie. The very last.
Concealer - Nip + Fab Colour Corrector in Peppermint
You all know I've been getting very little sleep lately and with very little sleep come very dark circles around one's eyes.
Enter: Amazeballz Concealer.
I must admit, I've never used many concealers before but of the few that I've tried, this one definitely stands out. Easy to apply, even easier to blend and perfect results.
Eyeliner - Nyx Matte Liquid Liner
Speaking of dark circles, I also tend to fall under the category of women who get asked if they're sick if they don't wear eye makeup for one day. Anyway, I happened to find the perfect matte eyeliner for me.
Recently, one of you asked me what eyeliner I was wearing and it was this one. It's super duper easy to apply, has amazing precision, and is impossible to get off. I'm not kidding, guys. Nothing but eye makeup remover gets this off my lids which is a good thing, I believe.
Makeup remover - Marcelle Gentle Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes
If you were at all wondering which makeup remover I used to get the eyeliner off my face, here you go. This product is the very best. It's oil-based and comes in those cutesy two layers with the oil part of it floating on the cucumber water part. You have to shake well before use and it completely removes all your makeup. I love it!
Moisturizer - The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Boosting Moisturiser
I've been using this for a while now and I must say, no other day cream has woken me up the way this one does. It has a fresh "orangy" scent and is of a gel consistency. Minutes after you apply it, it disappears into your skin and you can go on to apply your sunscreen or foundation without a pre-existing layer of stickiness. And did I mention the fresh scent?
I have had days when I forgot to even wash my face later in the day after applying this once in the morning and even on cold, dry days, this has kept my face moisturized without leaving behind a sticky residue. I absolutely love this product!
If you, like me, have been on the lookout for the best body scrub, leave everything else and get this one. It comes in a multitude of wonderful flavours of course but I'm from the land of coconut trees and mangoes so this one transported me right back home.
I can understand if you're still not too sure because the scent of a product is not everything, but hear me out. Shane (SHANE!) also loved it. He hates all kinds of body pampering "nonsense" that I put him through but this time around, he loved the scrubbin' and he loved what it felt like later on. He kept asking me why his skin smelled so good and felt so smooth.
The actual coconut shell will thoroughly scrub your skin and you're in for a treat when you step out of that shower and see how moisturized your skin is going to feel. This does not dry it out in the least. Things might even start sticking to your skin if anything.
And that's it for this month! I hope you enjoyed it. I genuinely love each and every thing I list in these monthly favourites so please do try some of them out and let me know what you think of them.