Finally! We're one week into May and I have my list of favourites from last month ready for you. So without wasting any more time, let's jump right into it.
Book - Elmet by Fiona Mozley
There were many occasions during my reading of this book when I had to pause to contemplate on whether it was set in contemporary times. There was never any doubt about it, of course, but it was still hard to fully take in the family dynamics between Daniel, his sister Cathy, and their Daddy, John, set against the vivid landscape of the Midlands. The story is a progression from innocence to darkness and the story-telling will have you going back and re-reading passages simply in order to appreciate their beauty a little more.
It starts off with the narrator, Daniel, traveling to the north of England in search of his sister. He isn't entirely sure that she went north herself but is determined to give it a go nevertheless. He then slowly begins to share his upbringing and simple life before he was out on the road searching for her - his home built by his father with his two bare hands on land they didn't own, his schooling that was discontinued by the time both he and his sister were nearly teenagers, the simple meals they cooked by hunting and growing their own produce, the life they led as outliers, away from society.
The bond the three of them share in this simple existence is hard to come by in our contemporary world. It almost makes one wonder if our primal selves were more human than what we've become with civilization. The children dote on their Daddy, a muscular bare-knuckle boxer who isn't known to lose any match. But to his children, he is a loving, straight-forward, protective, and honest man. He builds for them a safe life away from civilization but the question is whether they are equipped to protect themselves once civilization inevitably encroaches upon their happy haven.
Movie - Call Me by Your Name
I watched this movie on 1 April 2018 with Shane and Madam Madan while we were on holiday in Wales. I will never forget the when, where and how (I was feeling) of this movie because it was truly one of those experiences you know have changed you forever.
This beautiful coming-of-age film took me back to the days when I was a teenager and felt intense feelings for anyone I had a crush on. It reminded me of my quirks, foolishness, clumsiness, and innocence, while also taking me through what it was like to feel genuine loss and heart-ache for the first time. We all experience these things and more often than not, grow out of them. But very few of us manage to bury these feelings so deep that even a beautiful work of art like this film cannot revive them. I sure hope you don't belong to that category of people, as for anyone else, this film will feel like a warm cup of hot chocolate by a crackling fire on a cold snowy day.
App - Moodpath
If you're like me, and by that I mean if you like making lists, setting alarms and reminders, tracking appointments, and paying attention to everything around you, this free app will be a good addition to the host of services that you might already be using.
Thrice a day, Moodpath asks you specific questions pertaining to how your day is going and lets you record how you're feeling at that given time. At the end of a fourteen day period, you can review your mental health progress during that time and look into options for support, if you might need any.
I'm currently in my third fourteen-day cycle and I can go back and monitor how my mood has been fluctuating during this time and even take note of potential triggers and health conditions that might be causing these fluctuations.
Perfume - English Pear and Freesia by Jo Malone
Once again going back to my holiday in Wales at the beginning of April, this was the scent Madam Madan was wearing while on that trip and I fell in love with it so much that I took a photo of it so as to not forget to buy it once I got home. So imagine my surprise when she flew down for my housewarming three weeks later and brought me this exact perfume as a gift!
We all need scents and perfumes that take us back to happy memories but more than that, we need best friends we can make those happy memories with. And if your best friends, in turn, gift you these memorable scents, then you pretty much have it all, don't you?
Reed Diffuser - Walled Garden Orchard by True Grace
While we're on the topic of scents, allow me to introduce you to the scent that will envelop you the minute you walk through my front door.
If you've been following my blog or at least my mothly favourites for a while now, you'll know that I'm a big fan of reed diffusers and candles, and that I have one or both of these in almost every room of my house. I usually like to change things up from time to time but I'm pretty convinced that this will remain the scent in my hallway for the foreseeable future.
I especially like the fact that Shane was the one who found this scent and told me that it reminds him of me. It's a fresh floral scent that makes me feel calm every time I enter my home and I would go so far as to say that I associate this scent with a sense of safety and happiness.
Scented Candles - LUGGA
Blossoming romance pink by Ikea
Looks like I'm not done with the subject yet. Or maybe it looks like I have a problem. But allow me to explain this obsession.
We recently moved into a flat that has an open concept which means that we can cook our dinner while watching the TV in our living room. This also means that the smell of our Indian cooking can take over the entire home within seconds. That's when this three-pack candle set comes in.
This trio is strong enough to overpower the smell of onions mixing with garam masala but also light and gentle at the same time. I don't know how they do it but it works like a charm every time. When I placed them in our guest bedroom the other day, the whole room smelled of these candles even when they weren't lit. But it wasn't an oppressive cheap candle smell at all, if you know what I mean. I would totally repurchase this set.
Duvet cover sets - IndYeah
As I mentioned earlier, we recently moved into a new home and as a housewarming gift, my mother purchased these duvet cover sets from an online cultural arts and gift store called IndYeah based in Melbourne.
They're pure cotton, fit perfectly and feel amazing on your skin. You can follow them on Facebook or Instagram to place your own orders. My rooms are bright and colourful, thanks to these pretty additions.
Face wash - Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash by The Body Shop
During this past winter, I have been re-vamping my skincare rituals to fit the changing seasons and as a result, my skin's changing needs. A part of this re-vamp was identifying a face wash that wouldn't dry my skin out in the cold. That's when the creamy and gentle Vitamin E facewash by The Body Shop came to the rescue.
It does the job and it does it well. It both wakes me up and leaves my face feeling squeaky clean every morning without drying it out even the least bit. Their Vitamin E morning serum is also a great compliment to this face wash.
Brow Gel - Fill + Tame Brow Gel by Beautaniq Beauty
I'm generally very lazy to tame my eyebrows. Luckily, they don't get too out of control and they're easy to manage with the right eyebrow filling tools.
I'd been using a polish + powder set for the longest time and it wasn't the most time-efficient solution to the brow problem. Enter Beautaniq Beauty Fill + Tame Brow Gel. I kid you not, in less than twenty seconds, I manage to have both my brows done with what looks like a mascara. It's pigmented just right so it's easy to work with even if you have an accident, and it's the easiest product to apply on your eyebrows. I think I can safely say this is my new go-to eyebrow sculpting product now.
Treat - After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins by Nestlé
I got introduced to these additive post-dinner treats during our housewarming party last month. A friend of ours brought these home as a gift for us and heavily suggested that we open them up immediately so she could have them too. I felt sad the next morning when I realized that we didn't open them after all, but the minute I tasted these, I was glad I didn't have to share it with one extra person.
I wasn't joking when I said these were addictive as I have gone through at least three packets of these in the past two weeks. You simply cannot stop once you begin. That is if you, unlike Shane, are one to enjoy a chocolate-mint combination. I got lucky there as he doesn't show the least bit of interest in them and I'm free to have them all for myself!
And that's all for April, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading about my favourites as much as I did listing them. And as always, do let me know if you ever try anything listed here. I'm also always grateful for any recommendations you might have for me to try out.