For the shortest month of the year, February did allow me to accumulate more happy memories than I could have ever imagined, and as a result, I have more favourites to share this time than on any other favourites post in the past.
But before you even glance at this list, I must warn you: I tried my best to pick between two of the books and two of the tv shows that I wanted to include this time. In the end, I gave up and included them all. It's hard to pick a favourite sometimes. So here goes.
Book - Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
I've always loved a good whodunnit and what's better than a whodunnit within a whodunnit? Oh yes, there's bookception to look forward to in this book when editor Susan Ryeland starts investigating the missing chapter of the final detective novel in a series she's been editing for years.
It starts off with the narrator, Susan Ryeland, sharing the following:
I lit a cigarette. I began to read the book as you are about to. But before you do that, I have to warn you.
This book changed my life.
And you recognize the literal connotation of this warning only when you reach the end of the book yourself.
Book - The Power by Naomi Alderman
If there ever was a book that made me loudly exclaim the words 'HOLY SHIT', it was this one. The premise here is simple: teenage girls across the globe start discovering that their bodies can produce an electric charge which can sometimes even be deadly. These girls then start passing on this "power" to their older counterparts and within no time, every female baby born in this world comes already equipped with 'the power'. It manifests itself in "a strip of striated muscle across the girls’ collarbones", and you start witnessing a revolution where women and girls are no longer the physically weaker sex.
What starts off as a revolution altering the lives of thousands of downtrodden women all over the world, very quickly escalates to a point where parents are advising their young boys "not to go out alone, not to stray too far.”
Every aspect of our current reality gets turned upside down, when boys start dressing as girls to seem more powerful, and female editors start suggesting that male writers consider releasing their works using female pseudonyms.
If you're looking for a new book to start reading, I implore you to pick this one up and get ready to have your mind blown.
Podcast - Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Timbuktu Labs
I had listed the book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls in my September Favourites and till date, it's the one book I want to buy for all the little girls in my life. So when I heard that they were releasing "a fairy tale podcast about the extraordinary women who inspire us", I knew what my favourite girls could start listening to as they fell asleep, or drove around with their parents, or simply sat colouring in the living rooms.
Here's everything you need to know about the show and be sure to subscribe by the time episode 1 is released :)
Movie - The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey
When Shane heard that I hadn't watched this 1998 classic yet, he immediately knew what we were going to do on the first Saturday of this month.
The movie follows the life of Truman Burbank, a normal thirty-year-old man who has no idea that he's the star of his own TV Show which is a live day-to-day broadcasting of his life. The show literally never ends and viewers across the globe even fall asleep to the image of Truman sleeping on his show/real life.
I think it's a good thing I watched this movie now when vlogging is an actual thing because my initial reaction when nothing was making much sense was, is this guy just vlogging?
A few more minutes into the movie, and I realised that my heart was beginning to break into tiny little pieces, one minute at a time.
TV Show - The End of the F***ing World
It follows the story of two teenagers James and Alyssa - James who believes he is a psychopath and secretly wants to kill Alyssa, and Alyssa who comes from a dysfunctional home and actually feels "safe" with James.
I started watching it on my own one evening when I was dead tired and slowly falling asleep. But within minutes, I was wide awake and literally laughing out loud.
These two kids don't even so much as smile on camera and yet, this is the kind of British comedy that will have you in stitches in no time.
I cannot recommend it enough.
TV Show - The Office (U.S)
Ever since I finished watching The Office (U.K) which was also the original series, a certain snobbish section of my brain refused to give the US version even a chance because I always tend to like the originals better. I was convinced that there was no way the US version could make me laugh, feel shocked or even want to kill myself any more than the UK version could. But I was wrong.
It's easily the kind of show that you could binge in one day but Shane and I find it humanly impossible to watch more than three episodes at once because JESUS, it is depressing at times, and we feel like the most wretched of human beings for not being able to stop laughing.
And that's considering how depraved our sense of humour already is.
Instagram Account - @upthehillart
This is a Harry Potter fan art page that recently blew my mind. The artist basically draws the most unlikely pairs of characters from the Harry Potter books such that they transcend gender binaries and even the universe itself. Here are a few of my favourites:
The Potters Christmas Portrait 🎄 In a universe where Voldemort doesn't exist, James and Lily are alive, Harry is 17, Lily is pregnant with their second child, and everyone's happy :) The idea is inspired by one of the art pieces by stilesstays from Tumblr #thepotters #jamespotter #lilypotter #lilyevans #harrypotter #christmas #marauders #prongs #jily #harrypotterfanart #upthehillart
Glasses - RUFUS at Specsavers
Speaking of Harry Potter, these are the glasses that I don't need but wear anyway because they make me feel spectacular.
Like I've shared in the blog post dedicated to them, there was only a single one of these left in stock at the men's section and they didn't even have a female equivalent anywhere. I'm sure they were made just for me and I will wear them every time I need to feel smart or intellectual. Just Cause.
Bank - Starling Bank
I know. I'm recommending a bank to you. But you need to pay attention because this one is simply awesome.
This is a mobile-only bank in the UK that doesn't have any branches but still provides the best customer-centric banking experience ever.
The minute you spend your money, you get notified on the app, and you also get to see where the money went.
So right now, I'm on top of how much I spend each month on groceries, subscriptions, online shopping and eating out. I also am able to set goals for each month in case I need to save up for a purchase and I can automatically start setting money aside towards these goals. Moreover, the overdraft limit when you first start banking with them is insane. And I think overall, projects like Starling might be the future of banking worldwide.
Recipe - Vegan Flourless Avocado Brownies
Following the recipe above, Shane and I baked birthday brownies for him last week using just six ingredients - bananas, avocados, maple syrup, peanut butter, cocoa powder and a pinch of baking soda. And it was the best thing ever.
I never imagined that something sweet made out of avocados could be this delicious. And it literally took us about 20 minutes to have the whole thing done. Will attempt at least once a month henceforth.
Facial Cleansing - Balanceme Flash Cleanse Micellar Water
I bought this product as a make-up remover/cleanser and before we get too excited, I will say that as a make-up remover, especially as an eye make-up remover, I would not recommend it. However, as a lightweight cleanser when you don't feel like washing your face too often or drying it out, this is brilliant.
I use it primarily before I apply a facemask or before working out and it does the job really well. Moreover, the ingredients are not too bad in comparison to other cleansing micellar waters on the market.
Shower Gel - CLEAN ON ME by Soap & Glory
In these dry winter months, this nourishing, moisturizing shower gel has been a life-saver. I've shared before how I don't usually share my shower products with Shane but this is one that for some reason (i.e his begging and pleading), I have been sharing with him because even he adores it.
We love everything from the scent to the way it makes our skin feel after a shower!
Hair Conditioner - Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Conditioner by John Frieda
I must be growing and evolving as a person because here's another item that I've been sharing with Shane this past month. For someone like me whose hair blows up to twice its size under humid conditions and for someone like Shane whose head holds enough hair for the both of us, no other conditioner has worked this well to tame all the mess.
And my hair has never been easier to straighten or style ever since I started using this shampoo-conditioner duo coupled with the serum that comes with this range.
And that's all for February. I hope this month's list wasn't too tiring because I may have gone a bit overboard. I would have liked to make it even longer to be honest, but maybe I'll find lesser items next month and add the overflow to that list. Until then, tell me in the comments below what all things you've been enjoying recently and I'll be sure to check them out :)