May favourites

From London hotspots to beauty faves, here’s what we’ve been loving in May!

Lifestyle

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Image via @flowerona on Instagram

Peonies

It’s peony season, people! Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge flower buff, and at this time of year I’m in my element. May is an amazing time for flowers, both because of the variety available and media presence, thanks to Chelsea Flower Show. It’s also the time of year that beautiful blousy peonies are in season. See you at Columbia road market on Sunday?

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Go Stationary Colour Block Notebook in Teal 

My name is Ellie and I’m addicted to notebooks. I have tens (hundreds?) of them dotted around my flat but that doesn’t stop me buying more. I have a problem, I know. I picked up this beauty at my local Waterstones on Chiswick High Road (which has an in-credible stationary section FYI) a couple of weeks ago. I’m planning on popping it in my backpack when I head off on my USA road trip and keeping a kind of travel journal as I go.

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Beauty

Bobbi brown bronzer compact

Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder in Bronze Glow

This powder is an absolute dream. It’s called a finishing powder but it’s much more like a bronzer. It looks shimmery in the product shot above, but the real-life effect on skin is actually very subtle and sun-kissed. I use it in partnership with my Instant Glow Shimmer Brick from Seventeen, which I absolutely love, and which at £4.99 is also a good dupe if you don’t have £45 to shell out on the Bobbi Brown version.

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Redken Extreme Anti-Snap 

This super silky hair treatment is a life saver. It protects your hair from over-styling and literally magics away split ends. It’s perfect for everyday use (and I do slather it all over my hair on a daily basis) but it’s also especially useful this time of year when we start to subject our locks to salty waves and long days in the sun. At £18 it’s a little pricey, but it’s worth it. I promise.

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Fashion

Topshop cateye sunglasses

Lexi Clubmaster sunglasses from Topshop

These sunglasses have a dramatic story attached to them. I picked them up in the Oxford Street Topshop before my holiday to Malta, then, the day before I flew, I discovered they still had the security tag attached *gasp emoji*. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t wear them until I was back home, had the tag removed and then waited around for a sunny day – but they were worth the wait! I love tortoiseshell style frames and the cat-eye style on these keeps the look up-to-date and feminine.

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Floppy Hat from Warehouse

Introducing my new summer sun hat. It’s relaxed and floppy with a cute black ribbon and bow. And it goes with all my warm weather attire. I wasn’t going to buy a hat for my holiday, because I’ve never really found one that suits me and also it means I have to wear it on an 11 and a half hour flight to San Francisco. But hey, what can I say? It was love at first sight.

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Books

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The Vegetarian by Han Kang

I picked up The Vegetarian initially because of the cover, and it was only later I realised it was this year’s Manbooker winner. It’s not particularly obvious from the paperback cover what this thin book would be about, but it was on the bestseller’s shelf so I thought, why not? The novella is split into three acts and follows Yeong-hye, a woman and homemaker living in modern day South Korea, who has a dream and decides to become a vegetarian. It’s short and gripping, so I rattled through it in a couple of days. While it’s quite an unsettling read, it’s one you won’t forget in a hurry. If you like Murakami you’ll like this.

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California Road Trip 

Erm, did I mention I’m going on an American road trip this month? I have been reading actual fiction this month but if I’m honest, the book that’s been entertaining me the most is this brilliant California Road Trip guide. It’s got awesome pictures, cool restaurant recommendations and ideas for places to stop off to stretch your legs while you’re on the road. I bought it after my holiday was all organised and then realised it’s dedicated to all the places I’m visiting. Handy, right?

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Entertainment

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iZombie – Netflix

After binging on every season of Big Bang Theory, I needed another light-hearted show for my daily dose of escapism. Seeing as zombies are the fictional monster du jour (seeya later, Vampires), I decided give iZombie a try. The plot is as follows: a girl (and good zombie) works at a police coroners. She eats the brains of victims and has visions of their lives, which she uses to help find their killer. It’s like Castle meets The Walking Dead. I didn’t expect to get into it, but here we are half-way though season two…

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Jane the Virgin – E4

Jane the Virgin is award-winning high drama with bag loads of heart. Jane (Gina Rodriguez) is a 23 year-old trainee teacher who waitresses at a hotel on South Beach. She’s tried her whole life to avoid drama but she’s just been hit in the face by a bucket-load: she’s pregnant, even though she’s never had sex.

There are heart-warming scenes of female friendship, telenovela interludes and melodramatic madness. If you’re partial to silly, soapy drama, and are yet to make her acquaintance, it’s high time you were introduced. The second season is currently airing on E4 on Wednesdays, but season one is available on Netflix. Whoop!

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London favourite

gin and tonic rooftop bar
Radio rooftop bar, ME, The Strand

Okay, I’m going to preface this by saying this 10th-floor rooftop bar is pretty expense, so it’s not one for a casual weekend brunch or post-work drink. However, the upmarket vibe and unique view overlooking the Strand definitely make this spot a worthy choice for a special occasion. The presentation of both food and drinks is beautiful. The gin and tonic menu amazing. The waitresses look like models. The bathroom is nicer than my flat. You know the score.

I’d recommend booking ahead, especially if there’s a bit of sun forecast.

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Foxlow, W4

This is the latest restaurant to pop up in Chiswick. It’s a stylish, low-lit affair – perfect for date night! – in the old Sanderson & Sons wallpaper factory on the edge of Turnham Green. Me and the boyf tried it out earlier this month and had a great evening sipping red wine and eating steak with bearnaise sauce, herb salted chips and parmesan-covered little gem. Oh, and on Tuesdays it’s BYOB with no corkage fee. Winner!

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What have you been loving this month? Comment and let us know!

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