Time for yet another post documenting my favourites for this month. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I'd have the time to write this but what do you know! Things have a way of working out and as they say, better late than never. So here goes.
Book - Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
I never read YA novels as a young adult because back then, I thought that the only way for me to be cool was by reading critically acclaimed works and classics. As a result, I missed out on a treasure trove of great literature. The good news is that I'm finally catching up now.
This book is something I wish I'd read years ago. For people who struggle with acceptance, be it towards themselves or others, this is the book to read. Basically, this is a book for every single person out there because we all have our stories of being judgemental in one way or the other.
Jennifer Niven strings together her thoughts, ideas and meticulous research in the most beautiful way possible, ending each chapter with the perfect words.
Podcast - By the Book by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer
Speaking of books (who saw that segue coming?), here's a fun podcast that I recently discovered and love listening to.
Every two weeks, Jolenta and Kristen choose a famous self-help book and live their lives - you guessed it - by the book. They get their unsuspecting spouses involved in the process too sometimes and record events and experiences as they happen. A lot of their interactions are downright hilarious whereas some prove to be emotionally taxing for one or all parties involved.
Apart from being super-entertaining, these ladies also do quite a thorough job of helping me decide whether or not I should pick up a book they've lived by. I look forward to their episodes every week.
TV Show - Archer
I'm not sure if I've mentioned Archer in any of my favourites before because Shane and I have loved this show for years. Season 8 just came out on Netflix recently and it hasn't disappointed in the least.
The plot revolves around a secret agent named Archer who works for his mother's spy agency called - you're not ready for this - ISIS. Seasons 1-4 are based around Archer's adventures in ISIS with the rest of his colleagues but starting with Season 5, the story goes a little bonkers. Now, it seems like it's starting to hit more steady ground but you never know with this show.
Either way, Archer's been a favourite for a long time and we've been trying our best to binge Season 8 this month as far as possible.
Movie - District 9
I must confess that when I sat down to watch this movie with Shane and The Bromance this month, I wasn't too sure if I'd would enjoy it. But boy was I wrong.
Like I said, this isn't the kind of movie that I'd choose to watch during my downtime but I couldn't be more glad for having agreed to give it a shot.
It's set in fictional 1982 and is shot in a documentary format with multiple interviews and cameras following people around. It starts off at a site where "prawn-like" aliens are found stuck aboard a ship that appears out of nowhere over Johannesburg, SA.
Everything from the casting, acting, special effects and social commentary in this movie is simply brilliant. A lot of it is really fucked up and makes you question humanity on many levels but that's exactly the kind of reality check we need from time to time.
Movie - Pulp Fiction
I tried my best to include only one movie in this list but of all the movies I watched (and re-watched) this month, I couldn't help but talk about this one here. I'm a big Tarantino fan and at the risk of sounding like a depraved human being, I totally get his style. No one laughs harder than I do when people get blown up on screen in a Tarantino movie. I know, I'm horrible.
The other day, I decided to watch just that special dance sequence between Uma Thurman and John Travolta before going to bed and ended up rewatching the whole movie again. And so did Shane. We simply couldn't help it.
I won't utter a single word about the plot here but I promise that if you haven't watched this yet, you're in for a treat. And if you don't believe me, just go through the cast of this movie.
Face Wash - Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash
Making an abrupt jump from pop culture to beauty products, allow me to dwell on this favourite of mine for a bit. I'm the kind of person who always likes to switch things up and try out new products at every given opportunity. Because of this tendency, I hardly ever go back and re-purchase the same product twice. But there's always a first time.
I used this face wash for the first time in 2015 and have tried out many daily face washes since. But not many can hold a candle to this one. My skin hasn't felt better in ages and I would totally recommend this to anyone who's looking for a new daily face wash.
Shower - The Bath House Bamboo Body Wash
When we visited the Lake District earlier this year, I found this brand of bath, fragrance and skincare products. They have stores only locally so I've had to order some of my favourites online. This bamboo hair and body wash has to be one of my all time favourites for its fragrance. I loved it so much that I repurchased a set for my parents too.
Just one tiny pump of this can create enough foam for an entire shower. I'm sure you can use this in your baths as well and I swear by this scent.
Okay, story time. I went to my GP this month for a routine check up and was handed one of those breast exam pamphlets that all women are given at their local healthcare centers. And then, I fell down a rabbit hole.
I don't know how or why this happens to me but I tend to sometimes look at simple pamphlets and somehow end up on the internet doing research on things like breast cancer. One such research is what led to an article that told me that the deodorants that I often bought from my local drugstores could give me cancer and that I should look for more "organic" options. That, in turn, led to more time on the internet, resulting in the discovery of this coconuty balm. Is anyone surprised I found a coconut flavoured deodorant?
Anyway, the reason I'm recommending this is not because of its "organic" properties (it literally has just five ingredients - Baking Soda, Arrow Root, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Vanilla Essential Oil) but because this shit surprisingly works, y'all. I was mostly odour-free even after a workout one day so I feel comfortable enough just using this feeble looking balm on most normal days.
Although, you need to bear in mind that a) I'm not one to sweat too much even when I workout and b) I live in a mostly cold country. Not sure how well this would hold up in Kerala but I could run an experiment and let you know.
But overall, coconutty goodness + long lasting odour protection + no breast cancer = good deodorant.
Feelin' a little eccentric right now but whatever.
Hair Serum - John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum
Oh, looky here! Another product I gravitated back to after a gap of two years. That's not technically true though because I used to use another one of John Frieda's hair serums back in 2015 and picked this one up just recently. Either way, love the brand, love the product.
People tend to think that I have thick hair but here's the truth - each individual strand of my hair is really thin and I have lots and lots of those thin strands covering my scalp. That's what gives the illusion of thickness although, things get messy when all that thin fluff goes out of control under humid conditions. Which is why I've always used serums on my damp hair after every shower and suffered most times when I skipped that step.
This serum also acts as my heat protection and tends to make me feel like all my hair won't fall off my the time I hit thirty so 👍
Lipstick - Dior Addict Rock 'N Roll 750
This final favourite is in my possession today because I'm a very spoilt friend. This was a gift from Meenal and the minute I laid my eyes on it, I realised how much attention she'd been paying to me over time.
This colour is so me but at the same time, I have nothing like this in my collection. It's a sheer, metallic, berry colour that's super hydrating and luxurious. I feel like royalty when I wear this.
It's a perfect lipstick for daily wear because it actually moisturizes while adding just the perfect hint of colour and shimmer to your lips. I love it!
And that's all for this month. As always, do let me know if you try anything from this list and I'll see you tomorrow!