It's been a great month and I have a pretty great list of favourites ready for you. So let's not waste any more time and jump right into it!
Book - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
If I say anything about this book, there's a good chance I'll spoil it for those of you who haven't read it yet. I myself am a bit late to jump on the bandwagon but better late than never, I guess!
So here are some of the reasons why I loved this book:
a) It's extremely well-researched and well-presented. Shane and I actually sat down to find loopholes in this crime fiction but there wasn't even a single one that was not justifiable. We are by no means the smartest people we know but we were quite satisfied that at least we could sleep at night without having details from the book constantly gnaw at us.
b) I had a big aha moment when I realised that the main female protagonist was an extreme version of myself, and kept telling Shane that I could have been that girl, had I been a little more...well, I can't tell you whether I found this similarity endearing or disturbing without spoiling the book for you. But the portrayal of her character was simply brilliant!
So how about you go read it and send me a wee email so we can have a lengthy discussion about it?
Podcast - Family Ghosts
by Sam Dingman
I remember listing this podcast in my May Favourites of this year when just the pilot episode had aired. On November 15, season 1 of this podcast was officially aired and boy oh boy, am I addicted to it! I actually wait for Wednesdays now so that I can listen to another true story that sends chills down my spine.
Like I mentioned in my previous description of the show, I find myself incapable of conveying to you how awesome it really is. So I'm just going to leave the official show description here and let you know that I've already given it a five-star review on iTunes. Please do give it a listen and spread the word.
Every house is haunted. In each episode of “Family Ghosts,” we'll investigate the true story behind a mysterious figure whose legend has followed a family for generations. Grandmothers who were secretly jewel smugglers, uncles who led double lives, siblings who vanished without a trace...these specters cast shadows over our lives in ways that might not be immediately obvious. But we are all formed in part by our familial collections of secrets, intrigues, and myths. By engaging with each others’ legends, perhaps we can see each others’ realities more clearly.
TV Show - Gavin & Stacey by James Corden and Ruth Jones
I must mention though that I wasn't the biggest fan of Season 3, but the first two seasons were simply amazing. It's a perfect little family sit-com with proper British humour, well-rounded characters, good writing, and great execution.
The character of Vanessa Shanessa "Nessa" Jenkins played by Ruth Jones (one of the co-creators of the show) is my absolute favourite. I even went through a phase where I imitated her by repeating her catchphrases like, "tidy" and "what's occurring" in an unimpressive Welsh accent. I just can't help wondering how come I don't have more people like her in my life.
Or maybe I do. Now that I think of it, she's pretty much like The Bromance in terms of her practical, no-nonsense attitude. The minute he starts dressing in leather and fishnet stockings and gets a bunch of tattoos, I'll make him my new best friend.
Documentary - J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and Me (BBC, 2001)
This is the documentary that helped me get through some of the mind-numbing hours I spent in bed this month, starting at the very beginning of the month when I fell terribly sick. I also watched six of the eight Harry Potter films in the past four weeks and I must say that overall, J.K Rowling has been lifting my spirits and making me a very happy person despite the crap life has been throwing at me. Well, she's been doing that since 2001 when I picked up Philosopher's Stone and started waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter, but there are very few things that last way into adulthood.
Seeing her in the documentary at various Edinburgh landmarks close to my home, and knowing that she's somewhere in this city also made me very happy. It's the little things.
Hand Cream - L'Occitane Shea Butter
Speaking of Edinburgh, it's starting to get really cold here. We're wearing hats, scarves, and gloves these days and using lots of moisturizer to protect our drying skins.
The L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream has been especially useful this time of the year and on top of doing a good job, it also smells divine. Totally recommend!
Body Cream - Whish Rice Milk Firming Body Cream
Speaking of moisturizers (who even saw that segue coming?), I bought this body cream last month in preparation for the winter. I was blown away by the scent and loved the non-sticky texture of this moisturizer. The only downside is that I feel it doesn't spread too easily on dry skin so I'd recommend you apply this straight after a shower. Both the scent and the non-sticky moisturization last hours. I love it!
Backpack - Vero Moda
I've been on the lookout for a backpack that a) had lots of compartments and storage space, b) was not bulky, c) was chic enough to pass for a handbag and d) still big enough to fit my laptop. Yeah, I had a lot of demands from a simple backpack.
So, lo and behold the Vero Moda backpack that came to the rescue:
It was everything I was looking for and more, especially these past few weeks when I've been working from outside my home more often.
Workout - STRONG by Zumba
I wrote about this new workout routine just last week so I recommend you check out that blog post to understand what it's about and watch a few videos that I've shared there.
What I will say here is that I have been doing it for three weeks now and I can feel my body getting stronger by pushing limits I never even set for myself before. If you're into HIIT workouts, then I'd definitely recommend looking this up in your area. You will not regret it.
Green Tea - Chinese High Mountain Picked Tie Guan Yin
Since we've mostly been talking about things that have been helping with my overall well-being, I can't help but include this amazing green tea. My in-laws brought it back from China a few months ago and packed quite a lot of it for us when we were returning from India. The only thing on the tin that was written in English was "Chinese Tea Gift" and it's taken me the longest time to track down this brand.
Long story short, this is the best green tea Shane, The Bromance and I have ever tasted and we're being super stingy about the way we consume it. My in-laws are currently in China and we're going to ask them to stock up on more of this tea for us.
Vaccumm Cleaner - Dyson V8 Absolute Pro
I just mentioned this vacuum cleaner yesterday but I can't help but mention it again in my favorites. It has been a godsend and has made my life a lot easier over the past few weeks especially with all my allergies acting up. Cleaning was never more fun! Or maybe that's just me.
And that's all for this month!
I'm genuinely so happy with each of the things I've listed here that I have warm fuzzy feelings in my heart right now as I've reached the end of this post. I hope you try out some of the things I've listed :) And be sure to hit me up with a quick email to gush about them if I've successfully managed to turn you into a fan as well.
See you tomorrow!